Blair gets a million-pound award for his global leadership

May 18th, 2009 - 3:16 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 18 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has received a million-pound Dan David prize for leadership at a ceremony at Tel Aviv University.

The prize, named after international businessman and philanthropist Dan David, is awarded for “achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world.”

Blair’s office has announced that 90 percent of the prize money would be donated to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation that promotes religious understanding, The Guardian reports.

Blair has been envoy to the Quartet of the EU, the US, Russia and the UN, for the past two years, putting him at the heart of negotiations over one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.

Speaking at the ceremony, Blair said he supports economic peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but that it must be accompanied by a political process.

One of the biggest tasks he has accomplished can be found on the northern edge of the Palestinian city of Jenin, on the occupied West Bank.

It has a large stretch of uninspiring land with a handful of disused warehouses.

Soon, it is supposed to become a major new industrial park, an international investment worth millions of dollars and designed to forge peace.

Blair has been acting as mediator between the Palestinians and Israelis to try and push the project forwards.

Speaking ahead of last night’s ceremony, Qadoura Mousa, the Palestinian governor of Jenin, said Blair had made some progress in his role as envoy but the deadlock in the peace process was hugely damaging to attempts to boost the Palestinian economy.

Blair is facing obstacles in other difficult projects, although he has made progress in securing an important new mobile telephone frequency for the Palestinians.

“The challenges are self-evident; the opportunities for peace less so. The opportunity is there. But it won’t remain if not seized,” Blair told the US Senate foreign relations committee last week. (ANI)

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