The UK Prime Minister will call on Syria and Iran to become more involved in efforts to stop violence in Iraq and ensure peace in the Middle East. Tony Blair will make the call in a speech on foreign policy this evening. His statement comes a day after four British soldiers were killed in an attack on a patrol boat in southern Iraq. Another three were seriously injured in the incident, which took place during a routine patrol along the Shatt al-Arab waterway in Basra.
Blair’s comments come as President Bush meets with a US panel exploring alternative strategies in Iraq. The US President is considering a change in approach, after Republicans lost control of Congress in mid-term elections last week, largely because of anger over the war.
Pressure is also mounting on Blair to withdraw troops from the country. So far 125 British soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. Blair has made peace in the Middle East a key goal for his remaining few months in power. He is expected to step down next year.