Britain’s Prime Minister has said this is a critical moment in the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. Tony Blair made the remarks during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. This is the last stage of Blair’s visit to the Middle East to try and bring a permanent end to the violence between the two sides. Earlier, he held talks with the Palestinian President in the West Bank expressing his support for Mahmoud Abbas.
He also called for greater outside help to bolster the moderate leader: “If the international community really means what it says about supporting people who share the vision of a two-state solution, who are moderate, who are prepared to shoulder their repsponsibilities then now is the time for the international community to respond to the vision that you have set out.”
Abbas emphasised the need to lift the economic blockade on the territories and said he was ready for serious discussion with Israel.
The situation in the Palestinian territories remains tense. A member of Fatah was been killed and eight others wounded in Gaza by presumed Hamas militants stoking fears that the ceasefire declared between Palestinian rivals this weekend could collapse.