Though “there is a great deal of skepticism out there” about the motivation of Israel’s new prime minister, Middle East envoy Tony Blair today encouraged Benjamin Netanyahu to resume Palestinian peace talks amid efforts to improve the West Bank’s economy, Reuters reports. A “credible political negotiation for a two-state solution” should take place “in parallel” with removing restrictions to Palestinians’ movement, Blair said.
Palestinians must gradually “take control of their own territory," Blair said he told Netanyahu. He also called on the Israeli prime minister to loosen the Gaza blockade. The former British PM added that Netanyahu “does understand that, if the right context can be created for peace, the only lasting peace is based on a two-state solution.”