The world view that will shape Blair's final term

Tonight, in a major speech, the PM outlines his vision for Britain's foreign policy. But what has he achieved and how will he be judged?
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Indy Politics

RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES

Ostensibly very strong links, with Jack Straw forging a close bond with Condoleezza Rice. But the memoirs of the former Washington ambassador Christopher Meyer underline the question - what practical difference has it made? There is no sign, for instance, that British influence has affected George Bush's reluctance to act on climate change.

EUROPE

Relieved not to face a referendum on a European constitution and won support for negotiations over Turkey's EU membership. But drew opprobrium of other leaders for blocking a deal on the EU's budget for 2007-13. Failure at next month's summit will mean that Britain's EU presidency is judged a failure.

ISRAEL/ PALESTINE

Conference in London set out steps to viable Palestinian state, but was undermined by Israel's absence. Modest progress this year, but problems illustrated by latest warning that the Gaza Strip is in danger of becoming giant prison for Palestinians. British rhetoric belies lack of real leverage in the region.

AFRICA

Blair drove African poverty on to G8 agenda and helped broker a £29bn aid deal. Government is committed to tackling bloodshed in Darfur, but has seen the issue get bogged down at the UN. Britain has been embarrassed by violence marring the election of allies in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

IRAQ

Interim parliamentary elections were seen as a success and the country's new constitution has been approved, but security is still a nightmare with insurgent attacks escalating and no prospect of British troops being withdrawn before end of next year.

HONG KONG

In his speech tonight, Mr Blair will highlight that the latest round of trade talks comes to a head in Hong Kong next month. For all its grand talk, the West has proved hostile to calls to open its markets to competition from the developing world, which wants Mr Blair to live up to the promises of the G8 Gleneagles summit.

IRAN

Jack Straw was quick to recognise the threat posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions and Britain is playing a leading role in negotiations with Tehran. But the situation still tense and focus switches later this month to the International Atomic Energy Agency. Was Tony Blair wise or foolhardy to drop an oblique hint of possible military action against Iran?

AFGHANISTAN

Elections conducted successfully, but continuing low-level guerrilla war that has cost more than 1,000 lives this year. Worrying signs of boom in production of opium, with vast majority of heroin in Britain originating from Afghanistan.

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