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Updated: April 23, 2014 17:09 IST

Radicalised Islam a growing threat, says Blair

AP
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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the West should focus on the dangers of radicalised Islam. A file photo.
AP
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the West should focus on the dangers of radicalised Islam. A file photo.

In a speech in London, he said that to combat Islamic extremism "whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and co-operate with the East, and in particular Russia and China".

Setting aside its differences with Russia and China, the West should focus on the growing threat from radical Islam, Tony Blair said on Wednesday. Mr. Blair said this during a speech that included a call to support Egypt’s military government against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents.

The former British prime minister said that tackling “a radicalised and politicized view of Islam” should be at the top of the global political agenda.

Mr. Blair, Britain’s Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007, is now Middle East envoy for the Quartet of the United Nations, the European Union, the U.S. and Russia.

In a speech in London, he said that to combat Islamic extremism “whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and co-operate with the East, and in particular Russia and China”.

Mr. Blair’s political legacy in Britain is tarnished by his decision to lead the country into the divisive invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Mr. Blair acknowledged the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had undermined Western willingness to intervene in the Middle East. But he called for the West to engage with the region, saying “we have to stop treating each country on the basis of whatever seems to make for the easiest life for us at any one time.”

Mr. Blair argued that “on the fate of Egypt hangs the future of the region.”

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