'US ready now more than ever to push for ME peace on basis of Israeli security'

The US is more willing than ever before to help reach a peace deal based on Israel's security and a Palestinian state, Quartet special Middle East envoy Tony Blair told Channel 1 on Saturday. "There is a general understanding in the American political system that wasn't there a few years ago… [US President George] Bush's commitment is not just a personal commitment. If there can be a fair basis for a settlement, which includes protecting Israel's security," it is now Blair said. "The fact that [Bush] will come back to Israel for the second time in a year shows his commitment," the former British prime minister added, referring to the American leader's promise to celebrate the Jewish state's independence day here.