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Former British Diplomats Criticize Blair Mideast Policy - 2004-04-27


52 former British diplomats have written to Prime Minister Tony Blair, sharply criticizing his government's Middle East policy.

The former ambassadors, high commissioners and governors urge Mr. Blair either to start influencing what they call America's doomed policy, or to stop supporting it.

The diplomats told Mr. Blair they have watched Britain's policies on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Iraq with deepening concern. They say they believe it is time to make their anxieties public -- in the hope that they will be debated in parliament.

There was no immediate comment from Prime Minister Blair, and a spokesman for him declined to speculate how he might react to what news reports called an unprecedented letter.

The spokesman said the prime minister rejects the idea of any "score card" between British and U.S. objectives. He said Britain's objectives are democracy in Iraq and a two-state solution in the Middle East. He then stressed that Britain will work for those objectives with its allies -- including the United States.

Information for this report is porovided by AP and Reuters.

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