Tony Blair Urges West-Russia Cooperation Against Islamic Extremism

World | November 26, 2014, Wednesday // 15:17
Bulgaria: Tony Blair Urges West-Russia Cooperation Against Islamic Extremism Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Photo: EPA/BGNES

The West should cooperate with Russia in confronting Islamic extremism, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.

In an interview for the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Blair pointed to Islamic extremism as presenting the largest long-term threat to security.

Despite the strained relations over Ukraine, the West should be ready to seek cooperation with Russia, as well as other major players, such as China and India in combating terrorism.

Blair described Russia as a powerful player, which has to be taken into account when the West addresses challenges such as that in the Middle East.

According to him, most likely Russia will have to be involved in finding a solution to the crisis in Syria.

Since his resignation as Prime Minister in 2007 Tony Blair has acted as a Special Envoy of the Middle East Quartet, the four-party entity consisting of the UN, the EU, the USA and Russia, that mediates the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In the interview, Blair said that he was worried more than ever about the Israel-Palestine situation.

He pointed that developments in Europe towards the recognition of a Palestinian state signified the frustration of people at the lack of progress and expressed their anxiety towards the treatment of Palestinians.

Last month Sweden recognized Palestinian statehood and similar moves are taking place in other countries of the EU.

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Tags: West, Russia, cooperation, Islamic, extremism, Middle East
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