Jerusalem, June 19 (ANI): Middle East envoy Tony Blair has said that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement could be reached "within the year," but only if all sides agree to peaceful negotiations. The former British Prime Minister said there was a "great sense of hope and expectation" in the Middle East after US President Barack Obama's recent outreach speech to the Islamic world delivered in Cairo.
"If President Obama gets the right partner, on the Israeli side but also on the Palestinian side, his determination to do this I have no doubt about at all," The Jerusalem Post quoted Blair, as saying.
"I have no doubt at all of his sincerity or his determination," he said on Frost Over The World, on Al Jazeera's English-language channel.
"So if everyone would commit themselves to a peaceful political negotiation to a two-state solution, you could have this deal within the year. But people have got to be prepared to commit to it.
"I think the Obama speech was really a huge event... I think this was a very big moment, a vital moment, for the region and for the wider world. I think there is a great sense of hope and expectation," Blair said.
Blair said Sunday's speech by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in which he endorsed a demilitarized Palestinian state, was a "step forward," but said he recognized the criticism. (ANI)