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Blair tells NBC of optimism over peace process


 Blair tells Brian Williams of optimism over peace process

Tony Blair has spoken of his optimism over negotiations for a peaceful settlement in the Middle East.

In an interview with NBC news anchor Brian Williams, Mr Blair said that the other main figures in the peace process - US President George Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - were working towards a two-state solution for the region to bring peace.

Asked about the role of the Palestinian ruling party Hamas in the negotiations, Mr Blair said that there would be "a moment when we make an offer to the people of Gaza ... do you want to be part of this process?", and Hamas would then have to decide its role

It would, Mr Blair admitted, be "very difficult" to negotiate a two-state peaceful solution with a party that refused to recognise one of those states, Israel.

But Mr. Blair re-emphasised his optimism, saying that past problems wouldn't necessarily define future progress - "Just because we have failed before doesn't mean we will fail again".

Watch the whole interview