Blair still hopeful of Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by end of the year

Middle East envoy Tony Blair encouraged European Union nations on Tuesday to play a more active role in efforts to secure a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. He added that he was still hopeful there could be a peace deal by the end of the year. Blair, who held talks with EU foreign ministers, said the 27-nation bloc has an important job to carry out in providing support politically, economically and in terms of security to Israelis and Palestinians. "Europe has strong links with the Palestinians and also the Israelis," Blair said.