Tony Blair: A two-state solution is best for Israel

By Jessica Elgot, March 23, 2010

Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister and envoy to the Middle East Quartet has described his vision for a safer Israel at the Aipac conference in Washington.

He said: “Israel is a democracy. The politicians are in fear of the people, not the people in fear of the politicians.”

Like US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spoke at the conference yesterday, Mr Blair called the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit "a disgrace" and said that Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

He told the Aipac audience: “Iran has conceived a role also; and it is not for peace.”
Mr Blair said he believed that a two-state solution was the only way to guarantee Israel's future security.

He said: "I believe with a passion: the only solution that works is a solution that delivers security to Israel and dignity to the Palestinian people. A state for the Jewish people. A state for the Palestinian people.

"It means that once there is an agreement on the contours of a Palestinian state, that is that... This is the two-state solution.”

He added: "So what I ask of Israel, as its friend, is not to risk its security; but to know that in changing the lives of the Palestinians who want peace and if empowered, can deliver it, Israel’s security is not forfeited but enhanced.”

Read Mr Blair's speech in full here.

Last updated: 3:16pm, March 23 2010