Epiphanies: Tony Blair

Article excerpt

I WENT TO SEE Gen. [Pervez] Musharraf in Islamabad about four years ago. I remember going into his room, just the two of us. We were trying to get Pakistan's help in the war against terrorism. And I said to him, 'So, what can we do to help you?' And he just said, 'Palestine. A peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.' I expected to hear that in Riyadh or Cairo or Ramallah, but I didn't expect to hear that in Islamabad.

THE BIG THING FOR ME [as Middle East envoy] has been to go there and experience the life of the Israelis, the life of the Palestinians. It's only when you get out, and you see it with your own eyes and hear it with your own ears, and you touch and feel and smell the politics, that you get a sense of how to resolve [the problem].

THE FIRST THING you've got to contradict is the belief that [Middle East peace] is hopeless. The second thing you've got to contradict is the belief that if you lock people in a room, they're going to come out with [a] peace settlement. They're not. It's gone too far for that. …