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52 Diplomats slam Blair on Mid-East snoopster - 26/04/2004 11:37:25 AM

from bbcsite

More than 50 former British diplomats have signed a letter to Tony Blair criticising his Middle East policy.
The 52 ambassadors said it was time for the prime minister to start influencing America's "doomed" policy in the Middle East or stop backing it.
They told Mr Blair they had "watched with deepening concern" as Britain followed the US lead in Iraq and Israel and called for a debate in Parliament.
No-one was yet available from Mr Blair's office to comment.

'Highest urgency'

The diplomats, who include former ambassadors to Baghdad and Tel Aviv among, believe their attack is unprecedented in scope and scale.
The prime minister is urged to sway US policy in the Middle East as "a matter of the highest urgency".
"We feel the time has come to make our anxieties public, in the hope that they will be addressed in Parliament and will lead to a fundamental reassessment," the letter said.
The document's coordinator Oliver Miles, a former ambassador to Greece, said they did not intend to damage Mr Blair politically but simply wanted to make their voice heard.
BBC News Online's World Affairs Correspondent Paul Reynolds said: "The list of names includes many former ambassadors in the Middle East and the publication of the letter shows that their frustration at Iraqi and Middle East policy has broken into the open.
"The views expressed are widely felt by officials in the Foreign Office though they are not shared by the Prime Minister or the Foreign Secretary."
The 52 diplomats urged Mr Blair to use his alliance with Mr Bush to exert "real influence as a loyal ally... If that is unacceptable or unwelcome, there is no case for supporting policies which are doomed to failure."
Mr Blair has been a staunch ally to US president George W Bush in pursuing the war in Iraq.

'Backward step'

The ambassadors accuse the US-led coalition of having "no effective plan" for Iraq after the war and an apparent disregard for the lives of Iraqi civilians.
They said Mr Blair had "merely waited" for the US to advance a "road map" for peace that had raised expectations of a lasting Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
They condemn Mr Bush's decision to endorse an Israeli plan to retain some settlements in the West Bank as an illegal and one-sided step - and criticise Mr Blair's public support for the move.
"Our dismay at this backward step is heightened by the fact that you yourself seem to have endorsed it, abandoning the principles which for nearly four decades have guided international efforts to restore peace in the Holy Land," the diplomats said.
They urged Mr Blair to act urgently to challenge the UK's portrayal as a partner in US policies condemned by the Arab and Muslim world.


-seems well timed, as Britain is expected to send in more troops to replace the departing Spannish soldiers soon. It will be interesting to see if he actually does anything



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52 Diplomats slam Blair on Mid-East - 26/04/2004 11:37:25 AM 206 Views
Blair is fair game at the moment - 26/04/2004 11:48:47 AM 28 Views
It's interesting they are all former diplomats too - 26/04/2004 11:52:36 AM 15 Views
You seem to kind of answer yourself here - 26/04/2004 12:05:24 PM 11 Views
That's a good point - I guess I did - 26/04/2004 12:13:41 PM 9 Views
That is true - 26/04/2004 12:18:33 PM 7 Views
Pretty much so - 26/04/2004 12:04:24 PM 9 Views
Re: Pretty much so - 26/04/2004 12:16:17 PM 8 Views
Re: Pretty much so - 26/04/2004 12:20:30 PM 6 Views
Blair is incredibly well respected here - 26/04/2004 12:27:03 PM 8 Views
Seems odd as a contrast with over here - 26/04/2004 12:30:15 PM 11 Views
heheh. - 26/04/2004 12:50:47 PM 8 Views
It's the same anywhere - 26/04/2004 01:04:25 PM 8 Views
Did anyone else find this bit amusing? - 26/04/2004 11:56:26 AM 30 Views
I don't know about that - 26/04/2004 12:00:45 PM 12 Views
True, but what principles have changed? - 26/04/2004 12:19:30 PM 10 Views
It is hard to tell - 26/04/2004 12:23:33 PM 6 Views
I thought that the policy has been up until Bush - 26/04/2004 12:33:39 PM 8 Views
No, you're right. - 26/04/2004 12:38:39 PM 13 Views
However, he has forced Blair to abandon his own position, right? *NM* - 27/04/2004 07:55:26 AM 2 Views
Plus - 26/04/2004 12:28:24 PM 6 Views
That's always been the case - 26/04/2004 12:37:55 PM 10 Views
But this time - 27/04/2004 04:22:21 AM 4 Views
We are discussing that in my Intl Security class. - 26/04/2004 12:53:32 PM 23 Views
Atrocities such as...? - 26/04/2004 01:42:38 PM 18 Views
I gave Saddam as an example... - 26/04/2004 02:01:45 PM 14 Views
I was wondering if you meant Saddam or Israel-Palestine - 26/04/2004 03:07:29 PM 12 Views
I wasn't talking about a particular war. I'm talking about my class.. - 26/04/2004 06:55:53 PM 10 Views
Re: I wasn't talking about a particular war. I'm talking about my class.. - 27/04/2004 07:29:32 AM 3 Views
Re: I gave Saddam as an example... - 27/04/2004 12:32:10 AM 9 Views
Re: I gave Saddam as an example... - 27/04/2004 07:56:36 AM 7 Views
Here's one... - 26/04/2004 02:11:10 PM 15 Views
Thanks for the link and address *NM* - 26/04/2004 03:08:16 PM 2 Views
Yes, I did - 26/04/2004 03:36:22 PM 11 Views
Bush is the only US president - 26/04/2004 12:29:08 PM 30 Views
Re: Bush is the only US president - 26/04/2004 12:31:34 PM 21 Views
That's what I'm saying though ... - 26/04/2004 12:35:04 PM 19 Views
It has to do with the policy reversal - 26/04/2004 12:38:35 PM 21 Views
Re: Bush is the only US president - 26/04/2004 02:51:45 PM 13 Views
... - 26/04/2004 03:27:18 PM 14 Views
and yet.... - 26/04/2004 05:17:07 PM 12 Views
The BBC has now published most of the letter - 26/04/2004 01:02:26 PM 20 Views
52? - 26/04/2004 05:18:59 PM 10 Views
Re: 52 Diplomats slam Blair on Mid-East - 26/04/2004 05:21:06 PM 10 Views
I feel sorry for Blair. - 26/04/2004 06:53:42 PM 11 Views
Here is most of it. - 26/04/2004 08:09:20 PM 9 Views
Well, it is self inflicted - 27/04/2004 04:24:50 AM 5 Views