World

Former British Prime Minister Blair launches private initiative to promote Mideast peace

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he is ready to jump back into the difficult world of Mideast peace-making.

Months after stepping down as an international Mideast envoy, Blair said Friday he is launching a new initiative to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace as a private citizen. He says his experience and network of contacts made during eight years of Mideast diplomacy will help him.

He says his efforts will include promoting a 2002 Arab initiative that offered a comprehensive peace agreement with Israel, working to improve the Palestinian economy and trying to end a split that has left the Palestinians torn between two rival governments.

He told reporters in Jerusalem that "there are so many things that could happen in this region of a positive nature."