Blair: we must look beyond Ukraine and work with Russia against Islamism

Former British prime minister Tony Blair

Former PM tells London audience the West should ignore 'differences' with Russia to combat extremism

LAST UPDATED AT 12:10 ON Wed 23 Apr 2014

TONY BLAIR believes that Western leaders must co-operate with other countries - "in particular, Russia and China" - regardless of "other differences" in the fight against Islamic extremism.

The former PM used a speech in London this morning to call for religious extremism to be placed at the "top of the agenda". His remarks were seen by some as a call to overlook Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian province of Crimea, but he later denied that interpretation.

"Ukraine is a separate issue where we should take a very strong position indeed," he said, during an interview with Sky News. "What I am saying in the speech today is that this rising threat of Islamism is a threat that we share in common, West and East."

The Guardian quotes Blair at length: "The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing. It is spreading across the world. It is destabilising communities and even nations.

"It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation. And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively".

Speaking to the BBC ahead of the speech, Blair said the UK would pay "a very heavy price" for not intervening in Syria and added that he would have pushed for the imposition of no-fly zones, if he had still been in power when the civil war there erupted three years ago.

Not everyone is impressed by his comments. The Huffington Post observes that "it is unknown what the former Labour leader would like to happen to the people of Ukraine and Crimea in the interim [while Islamism is tackled]."

Blair is now a Middle East peace envoy for the EU, US, UN and Russia - and his speech was an impassioned plea for the West to take sides and engage in the Middle East.

He said: "The important point for Western opinion is that this is a struggle with two sides. So when we look at the Middle East and beyond it to Pakistan or Iran and elsewhere, it isn't just a vast unfathomable mess with no end in sight and no one worthy of our support.

"It is in fact a struggle in which our own strategic interests are intimately involved; where there are indeed people we should support and who, ironically, are probably in the majority if only that majority were mobilised, organised and helped." · 

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Hi,
“Blair: we must forget Ukraine and work with Russia against Islamism” If you are not confused your not paying attention. Mr. Blair for once in his journey through learning, work and other aspects of life may be right. Historically as the Dutch made racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation the Muslims in the inner cities of Europe enforce Islamism. The solution of a conflict of culture within a culture is difficult as can be seen in South Africa where after apartheid things got worse.

...this man's autistic audacity is breathtaking. It was Blair who poked the hornets' nest, with his fellow Christian fundamentalist, George W Bush, in Iraq - it was Blair's Defence Secretary, John Reid, who took us into Afghanistan - "not a shot will be fired in anger"!!! It is Blair who has, almost single-handedly, attracted so much unnecessary hostility towards this country from many and varied Muslim nations whose internal and external affairs he has so blatantly meddled in.

It is Blair who has achieved NOTHING in the Israel/Palestine problem - it is Blair who continues to strut the world stage as if he has anything of interest or value for us to hear - it is Blair who continues to line his pockets and stuff his many bank accounts with the proceeds of his mendacity, while in office and thereafter - and PLEASE don't mention his wife - she lacked both the courtesy and good manners to conceal her boredom at Balmoral while yawning, with her mouth wide open - UGHHHHH!

No person should ever trust or believe anything this international deceiver ever says. However I have always liked Mrs Blair's honesty and forthrightness, and refusal to kow-tow before or suck up to royal snobbery. She was bored, and is it any wonder as obviously all of the royals present were intellectually far, far far inferior to this bright lawyer who, if I remember correctly always defended the 'common' man in our class ridden society. Is it any wonder her cleverness was portrayed by complete and utter boredom, and a very anti-protocol YAWN! being forced to put up with such nonsensical rude protocol. Moreover, thank you Mrs Blair for refusing to demean yourself before that complete and utter snob, well known gin gusher and gambler the Queen's mother NOT the terrible Queen mother, an affectation too far!! A person who allegedly had an obsession with blood-lines! UGH!! and expected you to kneel before her, what an insult! and when you declined she rudely referred to you as "rusty knees". The Queen's mother, what a dreadfully RUDE woman.

Still crusading then!

...agreed, Terence - but was it not Blair et al who brought about these problems for us in the first place? He now draws our attention to the very obvious dangers of radical Islam as if it were, suddenly, a blinding revelation! The man beggars belief!!!

ChrisS wrote almost all thepoints I would have made - the chutzpah of the man, like killing your parents then asking the court for mercy due to be an orphan.
He wrought so much damage to Britain and the Euro-not-US option for western democracy that there is little left to save, not even lovers left alive, when the kissing had to stop.

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