No alternative to two-state solution, Blair tells Israel


Brussels : There can be no alternative to a two-state solution for the Palestininan crisis, Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair said here Wednesday, a day after the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in.

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“There is no alternative to a two-state solution, except the one-state solution. And if there is a one-state solution, there’s going to be a big fight,” Blair said after a meeting with European Union (EU) officials in Brussels.

Blair, who spearheads efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on behalf of the Mideast Quartet of the EU, Russia, the UN and the US, was responding to concerns that Netanyahu may oppose granting Palestinians their own state.

“I think that once the new (Israeli) government settles in … we can get credible political negotiations going, because that is the only way we are going to achieve results,” Blair said.

The former British premier said the next six months would be “critical” for the Middle East peace process.

“I do believe that if there is no significant progress in 2009, we face a situation of great jeopardy for the peace process,” he said.

The EU’s external affairs commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, also called on Israel to commit itself to a two-state solution for the Middle East and urged for opening the border crossings into Gaza to allow European aid to reach Palestinians.

The new Israeli premier Wednesday vowed to work towards a comprehensive peace with the Arab and Muslim world. But he did not speak of a two-state solution, which would see

a Palestinian state created alongside Israel.