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Blair: UN Proper Clearinghouse for Relief Efforts - 2005-01-02


British Prime Minister Tony Blair says both he and President Bush look to the United Nations as the leader in coordinating aid for countries devastated by the Asian tsunami.

Mr. Blair broke his public silence on the disaster Saturday, calling the UN the proper clearinghouse for relief efforts, and said President Bush agreed with him.

British television (Channel 4) interviewed Mr. Blair from his vacation spot in Egypt. The prime minister has been strongly criticized in the British press for not returning home, but told the interviewer he has been getting regular briefings on developments.

He called the tsunami a global catastrophe that will require long-term help from the international community.

The British government has pledged nearly 100 million-dollars in humanitarian assistance and sent ships to help with relief efforts.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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