INDEPENDENT NEWS

PM welcomes opening of Palestinian border

Published: Tue 29 Nov 2005 04:45 PM
PM welcomes opening of Palestinian border
Tony Blair has welcomed this weekend's opening of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt as an 'important development' in the peace process.
Over 1,500 Palestinians have crossed the border since Israel relinquished control for the first time in almost 40 years.
Speaking after talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the Euromed summit in Barcelona, Mr Blair said:
"I think that is an indication that however difficult, progress can be made.
"All of us want to see a situation where we put in train a process that allows us to get to an end point that is now agreed by the overwhelming majority of people in the international community: A two-state solution - Israel confident about its own security and then a viable, independent Palestinian state."
Mr Blair also paid tribute to the role played by America in moving the process forward, calling the administration's involvement 'quantitatively and qualitatively different' from before.
"I think the Americans are heavily involved in this today and I hope they remain so because we need all the international community engaged in making sure progress is being made and we keep on making that progress."
Mr Blair went on to meet the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero before attending an event entitled 'the alliance of civilisations'.
The meeting is aimed at promoting a better understanding between Islamic and western countries.

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