Blair: Strategic importance of ME dispute in the world 'vast and profound'

Quartet envoy Tony Blair said Sunday that while the most important reason to settle the Middle East conflict was for the sake of Israelis and Palestinians the strategic importance of the dispute in the world was "vast and profound." "This dispute has not caused the extremism and settling it will not in itself stop it," Blair said in a speech at the Saban Forum in Jerusalem. "But, long ago, I began to look at this region not as a series of disconnected little tableaux of issues and challenges, but as one big picture. And today that picture spreads across not just the region, but the world."