02:32 GMT25 February 2021
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    Multi-millionaire former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has recently stepped down as Middle East Representative of the Quartet, has been appointed as chairman of a European organization tackling anti-Semitism.

    Despite being accused of war crimes in his role in the destabilization of the Middle East, following the Iraq War, Blair has been made chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a Brussels-based organisation dedicated to tackling racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Europe. 

    His appointment has been greeted by critics with derision, given the plethora of other roles he has taken on since quitting as Prime Minister. He recently stood down as Middle East representative of the quartet, consisting of Russia, the United States of America, the United Nations and the European Union.

    Blair took on the role after standing down as prime minister in 2007 but his tenure has been controversial. Critics have attacked the lack of progress achieved in the region and last year three former British ambassadors backed a campaign calling for him to be sacked and accused him of trying to ''absolve himself'' of responsibility for the crisis in Iraq.

    During his tenure, the Israel-Palestine crisis showed no sign of abating and the crises in Iraq and Syria led to the partial collapse of both nations as ISIL took control of vast swaths of both countries in order to create an Islamic caliphate.

    Blair's government, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, faced down one of the biggest popular uprisings Britain had seen against going to war against Saddam Hussein's regime. Blair sided with the US President, George W. Bush's view that the Iraqi dictator had weapons of mass destruction that could be used against British targets.

    The Iraq War and its aftermath proved highly controversial for Blair, as he was accused of war crimes in toppling Hussein's regime and for having no exit strategy, leaving the country in turmoil. He is expected to be heavily criticized in the yet-to-be-published Chilcot Inquiry into the run-up to the war in Iraq.

    "Insatiable Greed" 

    Blair has also come in for severe criticism for amassing a huge fortune by trading on his position as a former prime minister and charging enormous fees for advising companies and regimes across the globe.

    It was revealed last year that his company, Tony Blair Associates, had signed a secret contract with Saudi oil company PetroSaudi worth £63,202 (£41,000) a month and two per cent commission on any deals he helped secure.

    A PetroSaudi source told the Daily Telegraph in November 2014:

    "[Blair] has got deep ties to the Middle East and that is how we got to know him. We know a lot of people in common and they put us in touch. It was a confidential engagement to help us develop business in China."

    Blair was accused of "insatiable greed" by the Stop the War Coalition in the UK after his deal with Saudi Arabia was exposed.

    He also came under fire for signing up to advise the Serbian prime minister, Aleksandar Vucic, in a deal that is allegedly funded by the United Arab Emirates.His deal to advise Vucic was all the more surprising as the Serbian prime minister is listed as being an editor of the 2005 book called 'English Gay Fart Tony Blair'.


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    Middle East, Aleksandar Vucic, Daesh, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, war crimes, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Iraq War, European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation, Saddam Hussein, Tony Blair, Europe, Britain, US, United Kingdom
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