June 29. Shortly after Tony Blair stepped into his new job, he assured Russia and the Europeans
that he did not intend to adhere to the US-Israeli boycott of Hamas. Rather, he would establish
ties with Hamas representatives in Gaza and Damascus.
According to a DEBKAfile, the British politician conveyed this intention in a telephone
conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin on June 26. This assurance persuaded
Moscow to drop its resistance to naming him envoy.
sources say Blair's sudden turnaround contradicts the understandings he
reached with President Bush and Condoleezza Rice on his visit to US earlier
this month. German chancellor Angela Merkel is also looking askance at the
new Blair strategy.