Posted Saturday, April 13, 2002


Blair with UK Muslim chief


London, Saturday, April 13, 2002

[above image: Tony Blair with UK's Muslim chief, added by this website]


Corrections and clarifications

AN item in yesterday's Diary, page 18, repeated a Daily Mail allegation that the prime minister, Tony Blair, "had sent a letter to Arabic newspapers about the need for a 'final solution' in the Middle East". In fact the phrase was a poor translation, made by a news agency; of an article which had appeared in al-Sharq al-Awsat, al-Ahram, and al-Hayat newspapers. The phrase used by Mr Blair was "final settlement".

The issue is so sensitive and the mistake so unfortunate that it was, unusually, pointed out to political correspondents at Wednesday morning's Downing Street briefing. 'The full text of Mr Blair's article is posted on the Downing Street website ( in both English and Arabic. The relevant sentence reads, in full: "There must be: an acceptance by all of the fixed points of principle for any final settlement, which means - Israel, secure, its right to existence unchallenged in the Arab world; and a viable Palestinian state for the Palestinian people; and a ceasefire agreed now, to let the political dialogue recommence."


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