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Blair Urges 'Whole Middle East Strategy'

British Prime Minister Tony Blair (file photo) (epa) November 14, 2006 -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called on Syria and Iran to play a more constructive role in the Middle East or face isolation.

In a keynote speech on November 13 in London, Blair said Iran faced a "clear strategic choice."

"We offer Iran a clear strategic choice: they help the Middle East peace process, not hinder it; they stop supporting terrorism in Lebanon or Iraq; they abide by, not flout, their international obligations," Blair said. "In that case, a new partnership is possible, or, alternatively, they face the consequence of not doing so, isolation."

Blair said the Iraq conflict needed to be seen as part of what he called a "whole Middle East" strategy.

Blair added that the strategy should start with resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

(compiled from agency reports)

The International Coalition In Iraq

The International Coalition In Iraq
Georgian soldiers marking Georgian Independence Day in Baghdad on June 6 (epa)

COALITION MEMBERS: In addition to the United States, 28 countries are Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) contributors as of May 31, 2006: Albania, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Fiji is participating as part of the UN mission in Iraq. Hungary, Iceland, Slovenia, and Turkey are NATO countries supporting Iraqi stability operations but are not part of MNF-I.

NON-U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL IN IRAQ: United Kingdom, 8,000 as of May 26, 2006; South Korea, 3,237 as of May 9, 2006; Italy, 2,900 as of April 27, 2006; Poland, 900 as of May 30, 2006; Australia, 900 as of March 28, 2006; Georgia, 900 as of March 24, 2006; Romania, 860 as of April 27, 2006; Japan, 600 as of May 30, 2006; Denmark, 530 as of May 23, 2006; All others, 1,140.

(Source: The Washington-based Brooking Institution’s Iraq Index of June 15, 2006)

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