Quartet Mideast envoy Tony Blair, the former prime minister of Britain, released a statement while visiting PA-controlled Jenin, calling on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to speed up the negotiating process if an agreement is expected by the end of 2008.
Speaking to Sky News, Blair echoed demands made by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, calling upon Israel to remove roadblocks and checkpoints, and to limit restrictions towards boosting the PA’s economic realities.
He explained that of the 12 roadblocks the Quartet wants removed, only one has been taken down by the IDF.
Interestingly, both Blair and Rice did not make statements regarding documented ongoing widespread corruption among the Hamas regime in Gaza, a reality that negatively impacts donor nation’s efforts towards boosting the PA’s economy.
The Quartet is composed of the United States, United Nations, Russia, and the European Union.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)