Quartet Representative Tony Blair says prisoner exchange offers "a moment of opportunity"Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011 in Office of Tony Blair, Office of the Quartet Representative
Quartet Representative Tony Blair today welcomed the prisoner exchange agreement which saw Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners return home as "a moment of opportunity."
Tony Blair, speaking to the BBC, said that first and foremost it was "a moment of great joy obviously for Gilad Shalit and for his family, and also there are Palestinian families now reunited with those who were released as Palestinian prisoners.
"I hope it also offers us a moment of opportunity, not simply in respect of Gaza, where Hamas are presently in charge, but also for a regaining and revival of credibility in a peace process we really need to prioritise because what has happened is in a way offers us the chance of a change of atmosphere, a change of context.
"But we’ve got to use that and use that to push on and try and revive a credible negotiation for the two state solution."
Tony Blair and Quartet envoys will meet with negotiators for both the Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem next week,