News24

Mideast talks: Blair gets tough

2010-08-24 21:23

Herzliya - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on Israelis and Palestinians to bring serious proposals to a new round of peace talks set to start on September 2.

Speaking at an Israeli academic conference on Tuesday, Blair said the sides' proposals for how to solve the decades-old conflict's thorniest issues will be "a litmus test of seriousness".

Blair has been assisting the US-led effort to restart peace talks as the special representative of the "Quartet" of Mideast peacemakers, the US, the UN, the EU and Russia.

Since the new talks were announced last week, both sides have been laying out their starting positions, with Israel demanding security guarantees and the Palestinians rejecting any growth in Israel's West Bank settlements.