A plan for progress in the Middle East conflict that will include politics, economics and security may be put in place in the coming weeks, Quartet representative Tony Blair said Wednesday.
Speaking at an Israeli conference in Jerusalem, Blair said that resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is essential for the security of Israel and to the dignity of Palestinians.
“Let us hope that over the coming weeks, a plan for progress can be put in place in which politics, economics and security are aligned,” he said in reference to efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to revive the deadlocked peace process.
However, he warned that time is running out and this window of opportunity may close forever.
“We should understand: the window of opportunity will be open for only a short space of time. We must go through it together. If not, the window will close again and could even close forever. Time is not our friend. This is urgent. This is now,” he said.
Blair stressed that “Peace will not depend simply on negotiations. Peace is a state of mind as well as states with borders.”
He said “Israel must see a viable sovereign Palestinian State not as a reward to the Palestinians for good behavior; but as a strategic necessity for Israel’s future security and as a right for the Palestinian People.”
He also said that “The Palestinians must see that for Israel to feel confident enough to make peace, they need to know that such a Palestinian State will be properly governed with a Palestinian politics, unified in pursuit of an agreement that recognizes clearly Israel’s right to exist and ends the conflict once and for all.”
Blair said that peace is most important not only for Palestinians and Israeli, but “for all of us,” because “peace would symbolize reconciliation and respect between not only two nations but two peoples.”