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Fight for religious freedom, tolerance 'central battle' in Middle East: Blair

OTTAWA - Former British prime minister Tony Blair gave his personal blessing Wednesday to two controversial pillars of the Harper's government's foreign policy — a new religious freedom office and its handling of the Middle East. Blair lauded the government for setting up an Office of Religious Freedom in the Foreign Affairs Department — a decision that has exposed the government to criticism from rights groups and political opponents.

Egypt army's Morsi ouster was justified, says Blair

Egypt's army had no choice but to overthrow Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, former British prime minister Tony Blair said on Sunday. Writing in the Observer newspaper, Blair, who acts as Middle East envoy for the United States, Russia, the EU and the UN, said the army's only alternative would have been to let Egypt descend into chaos. "The events that led to the Egyptian army's removal of President Mohamed Morsi confronted the military with a simple choice: intervention or chaos," wrote Blair, who led Britain for a decade from 1997.

British Labour leader shrugs off Blair criticism

Britain's opposition leader Ed Miliband on Thursday hit back at former Labour prime minister Tony Blair's criticism that the party was heading in the wrong direction. Miliband said that he respected Blair, who won three general elections and led the country for 10 years, but disagreed with his appraisal, saying Labour was "moving on and moving forward". The party leader was responding to an article Blair wrote for the New Statesman magazine.

Tony Blair publicly faults Labour party successor

By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Former Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Thursday the Labour party he led to three election victories was in danger of becoming a protest movement without electable policies - his boldest foray into British politics since resigning. In an article that prompted Labour leader Ed Miliband to defend his own leadership, Blair suggested the left-leaning party looked like it was offering austerity-hit voters sympathy but few specific remedies before a 2015 general election.

Decade on, Blair adamant Iraq invasion was right

Tony Blair formed an unlikely alliance with George W. Bush to send British forces into Iraq, and 10 years on, the former prime minister is adamant he took the right decision. The Labour premier and the Republican US president were both convinced of the need to act against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD). However, these weapons never materialised and although Saddam was ousted within weeks of the March 2003 invasion, Iraq soon descended into chaos at the hands of insurgents and militia groups.

UK's Blair feels "huge stab of anxiety" about EU referendum

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Britain's pro-EU former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Wednesday he felt a "huge stab of anxiety" about the prospect of an in/out referendum on the European Union. His Conservative successor David Cameron has pledged to give Britons a referendum choice on whether to stay in the EU if he wins an election in 2015. Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Blair told Sky TV that Britain's eventual exit from the EU was now on the agenda.
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