The Quartet Envoy to the Middle East, Tony Blair, visited the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday, during his visit Blair stated that the Israeli occupation must end and peace efforts should be doubled.

On Thursday Tony Blair visited the city Nablus, in the West Bank. It is his first visit since he took office in Jerusalem and the city of Nablus was handed by the Israeli army to be run by the Palestinian Authority security forces in late 2007.

During the joint press conference with the governor of Nablus Dr. Jamal Mihesen, Blair said that he could not visit the city before due to the security situation, ‘I am so happy to make this visit especially after security and order has been restored to the city’ Blair said. He added that he thanks the governor of Nablus and his colleagues for their efforts regarding this issue.

In addition Blair said that he is aware of the hardships that Palestinians living in Nablus face ‘we have to keep working to end the occupation of the city which turned it from an economical and commercial capital to very hard situation’.

During his visit Blair said that he will meet with Palestinian business men from Nablus to discuss future development projects in the city. According to business men in Nablus, they demanded projects with 320 million USD over the next three years to back the economy of the city; they included infrastructure, and educational projects.

Translated by Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC News.