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Lebanon News

Jumblatt slams peace envoys, Tony Blair

File - In this picture taken on May 28, 2014, Walid Jumblatt, the political leader of Lebanon's minority Druse sect, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press as he sits in his garden house in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/File/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT: Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt upbraided Washington’s former peace envoys Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross, and accused former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair of abusing his position.

“It’s good that Martin Indyk has resigned from his position as a peace envoy to the Middle East,” Jumblatt told PSP’s Anbaa Online Magazine. “For he has disrupted, as his predecessor Dennis Ross had done, all the chances to reach a compromise because of his botched performance and biased policies.”

“He was virtually the man with the historical mission to achieve peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but in reality he was [conducting] talks for the sake of talks,” said Jumblatt, criticizing Indyk.

Jumblatt stressed that any possible peace talks should at least mention the removal of all settlements and the Israeli military’s withdrawal from the occupied territories, “especially from Jerusalem, which should be transformed into the Palestinian state’s capital on the basis of a two-state solution.”

Jumblatt also censured Blair: “[Blair] is using his position as the head of the Quartet on the Middle East to achieve personal gains at the expense of the [Palestinian] cause.”

Many rumors have recently emerged about the involvement of U.K.’s former Labour premier in business deals with Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Egypt, made using his position as the Quartet’s head.

Jumblatt spoke on Blair’s recent remarks in which he “denied responsibility over the occupation of Iraq.”

“What a great ability to use trickery and mendacity, by denying the horrible realities that Iraq and its people has lived through after its occupation,” the PSP leader said.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 01, 2014, on page 4.

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