Hamas critical of Blair envoy role

The Palestinian president has welcomed Blair's appointment by the Quartet.

    As special envoy of the Quartet, Blair seeks to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [EPA]


    'Not a man of peace'

     

    In Gaza, Hamas voiced its concerns on the outgoing prime minister's new role.

      

    Your Views

    "Blair's appointment was welcomed by figures in the US, Israel and the Palestinian territories"

    Send us your views

    "Blair, who supported the American occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, may not be a man of peace," Fawzi Barhum, the Hamas spokesman told AFP in Gaza.

      

    "His appointment is not acceptable to Hamas nor to the Palestinians. He will not do anything to support the Palestinian interests but will do everything to support the Israeli occupation," he said.

     

    On a trip to Amman, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, greeted news of the appointment of Blair and pledged to work with Blair towards achieving peace, an official said.

      

    "President Abbas welcomes the nomination of Mr Blair as envoy of the quartet," Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said.

      

    "The president, who was consulted on the matter, has given the assurance that he will work with Mr Blair to arrive at a peaceful solution on the basis of two states," Erakat said.

      

    He also said that Abbas was confident Blair’s appointment "will help boost the institutions of the Palestinian Authority and aid economic growth" .

      

    'Capable man'

     

    Meanwhile, George Bush, the American president, welcomed his closest ally to his new post.

      

    "I am pleased that this capable man has agreed to continue his work for peace in the Middle East," Bush said in a statement.

      

    "Tony will help Palestinians develop the political and economic institutions they will need for a democratic, sovereign state able to provide for its people and live in peace and security with Israel," Bush said.

    Blair bids goodbye


    Blair's Middle East mission

    Blair's legacy in the Middle East

    Key dates: 10 years in power

    Q&A: Gordon Brown's foreign policy

    Profile: Gordon Brown

    Reaction from Russia was more guarded with Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, saying that Moscow would support Blair's appointment if the other members of the quartet were in favour.

      

    "If the whole of the quartet is in favour, we are going to welcome Tony Blair's contribution to efforts to normalise the situation in the Palestinian territories," Lavrov said.

      

    In Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president applauded the appointment of Blair, lauding his "qualities as a statesman and his knowledge of the region".

      

    Meanwhile back home, Gordon Brown,  Britain's new prime minister, said he was "delighted", adding that his predecessor was "exceptionally well placed" to take on the role.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.