LONDON: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that the West should set aside its differences with Russia and China to focus on the growing threat from radical Islam
In a speech that included a call to support Egypt’s military government against its Muslim Brotherhood opponents Blair said that tackling “a radicalized and politicized view of Islam” should be at the top of the global political agenda.
He said many in the West seemed “curiously resistant” to face up to a force that “is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalization.”
In a speech in London, he said that “whatever our other differences, we should be prepared to reach out and co-operate with the East, and in particular Russia and China,” to combat Islamic extremism.
Blair’s political legacy in Britain is tarnished by his decision to lead the country into the divisive invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Blair argued that “on the fate of Egypt hangs the future of the region.”
He defended the coup that overthrew the elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammad Morsi last year, saying “the Muslim Brotherhood government was not simply a bad government. It was systematically taking over the traditions and institutions of the country.”
He said the protest that led to Morsi’s ouster “was not an ordinary protest. It was the absolutely necessary rescue of a nation. We should support the new government and help.” – AP