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Mon 23 Apr 2012 12:45 PM

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Former British PM Blair hails Oman ambition

Ex UK PM said Gulf state has potential to develop tourism and SME sectors

Former British PM Blair hails Oman ambition
Tony Blair was UK prime minister from 1997 to 2007.

Former
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said this week that Oman had made strides in its economic progress, citing the country's potential for future development.

Addressing
delegates at the third Oman Economic Forum (OEF), the ex-leader of the UK’s
Labour Party said the country had clear opportunities to develop its SME and
tourism sectors, in addition to industries such as oil and gas.

“Oman has
ambitious proposals in the latest plan, which includes the development of oil
and gas industries,” he was reported as saying by the Oman Daily Observer.

“I have to
say that there is huge potential in this country and in its development, not
only in major industries but also for small and medium enterprises and tourism
sectors.”

He added
that the Arab Spring had changed the region, but hinted that revolution was not the answer to regional issues.

“The
process of change will continue. There is enormous desire in people to participate
in the decisions that affect their lives. But a steady way of change is better
than revolution, and without making economic progress, everything else is less
important.

“The most
important thing to the economic growth in this region is to create an
environment in which right economic decisions are being taken.”

Blair, a Special Envoy to the Quartet on the Middle East, has established a successful speaking career since resigning as Britain’s Prime Minister in 2007.

Washington Speakers Bureau in 2008 said it had a two-year waiting list to book the former Labour party leader to speak, with institutions prepared to pay up to GBP£157,000 (US$250,000) for a speech of around an hour and a half.

John 7 years ago

And exactly how much was the Blair combine paid to read these scripted lines by the hosts. $250k? Going once, going twice... He says exactly what his current hosts ask him to say, yet not one person in the West would give him a pasty, let alone a bung. It is time for Gulf leaders to accept Blair caused more harm than good with his poodling.