Blair says farewell at Labor conference

Commits to advancing peace between 'Israel and Palestine' during final speech.

By JONNY PAUL
September 26, 2006 21:29
1 minute read.
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British Prime Minister Tony Blair today received a huge, rapturous applause at the Labor Party conference after promising to dedicate himself to advancing peace between "Israel and Palestine". Delivering his final speech as Labor leader to his party, he said, "From now until I leave office, I will dedicate myself the same commitment I've given to Northern Ireland, to advancing peace between Israel and Palestine." As the applause died down he added, "I may not succeed but I will try because it is right in itself and because peace in the Middle East is a defeat for terrorism." "We must never again let Lebanon become the battleground for a conflict, that neither Israel or the Lebanese people wanted, but it was they who paid the price for it and peace in Lebanon would be a defeat for terrorism." In an hour-long speech on the final day of the conference, held in Manchester, Blair also talked about not baulking in the war against terror, saying the "new anxiety is the global struggle against terrorism without mercy or limit". He warned that the terror threat is a "struggle that will last a generation and more". Shrugging off the notion that foreign policy is a catalyst for terrorism, he said: "This terrorism isn't our fault, we didn't cause it, it's not the consequence of foreign policy, it is an attack on our way of life, it is global, it has an ideology, it killed nearly 3,000 people on the streets of New York long before the war in Afghanistan and Iraq." The parameters of terrorism is global and indiscriminate, Blair said, adding, "It's been decades growing and its victims are in Egypt, Algeria, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, turkey, over 30 nations of the world and it prays on every conflict and it exploits every grievance and its victims are mainly Muslims."

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