Tony Blair: West must strike Syrian deal

Tony Blair has warned the West faces a “titanic” struggle against radical Islam and urged governments to focus their international efforts on tackling religious extremism.

Tony Blair said tackling radical Islam should be a global priority. Picture: Getty

The former prime minister said striking a deal with Bashar Assad in Syria, and further Nato involvement in Libya, could form part of a move towards stemming the tide of extremism, which lay behind most of the world’s most intractable problems.

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In a speech in London, Mr Blair said failure to “take sides” with moderates in the Middle East could mean the 21st century is dominated by conflict rather than peaceful co-operation.

On Syria he said: “Repugnant though it may seem, the only way forward is to conclude the best agreement possible even if it means in the interim President Assad stays for a period.”