Hamas needs to be part of peace process: Tony Blair
Hamas should be part of the Middle East peace process, Tony Blair, envoy to the region of the international 'quartet' of powers, said in comments published.world Updated: Jan 31, 2009 08:40 IST
Hamas should be part of the Middle East peace process, Tony Blair, envoy to the region of the international "quartet" of powers, said in comments published on Friday.
"I do think it is important that we find a way of bringing Hamas into this process, but it can only be done if Hamas are prepared to do it on the right terms," Blair said in an interview with the Times newspaper, published on its website.
"If you do this in the wrong way it can destabilise the very people in Palestine who have been working all through for the moderate cause."
With a shaky ceasefire in place after the war in Gaza, efforts are under way to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
The West supports the Fatah administration in the West Bank and says it will not talk to Hamas unless it renounces violence and recognises Israel's right to exist.
Former British Prime Minister Blair is the Middle East envoy for the quartet of Middle East peace negotiators -- the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union.