Blair’s appointment as peace envoy ‘bad omen’: Jordan press


Amman : Jordanian newspapers Friday greeted the appointment of former British prime minister Tony Blair as an envoy for the Middle East quartet with scepticism, calling it a "bad omen" unlikely to bring peace or justice to the region.

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"The decision represents a bad omen because history will know Blair as one of the renowned liars, as his lies have led to the crime of occupying a country, shattering its state into pieces and killing more than one million Iraqis," the daily Alarab Alyawm said in an editorial.

"It is a form of ethical and humanitarian injustice to describe Blair as a Middle East peace envoy. It is a lie which is as great as his lie that Saddam Hussein possessed a bottle of anthrax capable of destroying half of the world in one hour," the paper said.

Alarab Alyawm contended that British intelligence reports that the former Iraqi dictator possessed arms of mass destruction were instrumental in provoking the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

"By taking the initiative to appoint Blair as quartet envoy, US President George W Bush wanted to extend a service and reward to his friend in committing crimes in the region," the paper said.

It cast doubt on Blair's ability to bring justice to the Palestinians.

Another newspaper, the Jordan Times, said editorially, "For all his strengths, Blair's track record in this region has been appalling.

"A staunch supporter of US President George W Bush's ill-planned, ill-executed and illegal war in Iraq, Britain under Blair has been similarly acquiescent in Washington's non-existent policy on the Palestinians and Israelis," it added.

"Blair, furthermore, was a staunch supporter of imposing sanctions against the democratically-elected Hamas-led government, a decision that was as instrumental as anything in laying down the groundwork for the Gaza takeover and the effective political division of the Palestinian people," Jordan Times said.