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Blair: Arab governments have 3 years to deliver

By Lucy Jay-Kennedy, WEF (People's Daily Online)

08:36, October 24, 2011

Dead Sea, Jordan – Translating the political changes of the so-called “Arab Spring” into improvements in people’s lives is the greatest challenge facing governments in the region today.

"Unless ordinary people see tangible progress over the next three years, there will be a huge popular backlash,” said Tony Blair, UN Middle East Quartet Representative, speaking on a panel about geopolitical trends at the World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab World, held at the Dead Sea, Jordan.

Blair’s sense of urgency was shared by former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Amre Moussa, who endorses proposals for a major international effort to support reform in the region and emphasized that such an effort must be designed to meet the particular needs of states emerging from the upheavals of the past year.

Nasser Sami Judeh, who recently stepped down as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan, underscored the urgency: “Young people across the region have fought for change with their blood; we must find ways to meet their aspirations without more violence,” he said.

One of the main demands of the Arab street is that its voice be heard and heeded. “People everywhere want to participate in decisions that affect their destiny and we should not expect things to be different in the Arab world,” said Barham Salih, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq.

Building a participatory system takes time, however. “Democracy is not just about voting, it is an attitude of mind that took centuries to evolve in the UK and cannot be achieved in a few weeks or even a few years,” said Blair. “Elections are central and people must accept the outcomes,” added Moussa.

As people in the Arab world strive for justice within their own societies, a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue remains central to regional stability. Moussa reiterated his government’s commitment to finding a solution. “Peace between Israelis and Palestinians remains the foundation of our foreign policy,” he said.

For Blair, the “Arab Spring” offers an opportunity to put the peace process on a more stable path: “It alters the positions of all sides and, in doing so, gives us a chance to make progress.” Failure to do so will further complicate the regional picture, he added.

By Lucy Jay-Kennedy, contributed to People’ s Daily Online


Leave your comment8 comments

  1. Name

Ken Hortin at 2011-10-27124.168.56.*
Hammad Sethi, you are so correct! And so are you Helen. The Three Mouseketeers, (Bush, Blair and Howard) should be utterly ignored. Indeed should be punished for the deaths pain and suffering they inflicted upon humanity.
Hammad Sethi at 2011-10-2592.40.253.*
Tony Blair should worry about Western Christian thugs, and fanatical Christian Governments in the West, because these thugs do not even have three years. The era of labelling every Muslim who spoke out for freedom and respect for human rights of Muslims as a radical or an extremist or a terrorist, or to blackmail Chinese authorities with the corus of so-called secularism, respect for human rights, democracy, and freedom, is long gone, and so is the Western Christian tyrannical hegemony over the rest of the world. Tony Blair should leave the Muslim world alone and keep his mouth shut. Muslim world and the Chinese world are both better-off without the British Christian thugs.
dave at 2011-10-25184.66.11.*
Always bear in mind that Tony Blair an imperialist poltician. He is just feeding on the trough , using the Middle East as a tool. He sabotages the aspirations of the palestinian people.
wende at 2011-10-2471.125.85.*
Moussa was wrong to say that Arabs need international support to make the changes. One does not rely on the outside influence to change inside your house. The Arabian governments and people have to make the changes to suit their own purpose. The ideals and motives of outsiders will not be the same as yours. Moussa is so typical of some rulers who still have the so-called "colonial mentality" and keep thinking that western ideas and values as the best. This is the reason why many are manipulated by the west. Chinese included.
EErzWGTX at 2011-10-24212.150.119.*
Good report, please keep going on.

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