Gordon Brown stresses importance of ME peace

Gordon Brown vowed to change Britain to meet new priorities as he took over leadership of the Labor Party from Tony Blair on Sunday, days before he becomes prime minister. The Treasury chief, who will succeed Blair as British leader on Wednesday, pledged sweeping reforms to tackle poverty and improve health care and said he recognized global extremism would not be defeated by military force alone. "Our foreign policy in the years ahead will reflect the truth that to isolate and defeat terrorist extremism now involves more than military force," Brown told a conference of party members in Manchester, northern England, making his first speech as leader. Brown said the key to that work would "be what becomes daily more urgent - a Middle East settlement upholding a two-state solution" for Israel and the Palestinians.