“A fascinating conversation between Tony Blair and George Bush has been caught by the microphones at the G8, when the two men didn’t think they were being overheard. It tells us a lot about the relationship between the two men, about the US-UK special relationship and the two men’s views on the Middle East. Here’s a transcript as best as we can make out. “
By Adam Boulton
Bush: Yo Blair How are you doing?
Blair: I’m just…Bush: You’re leaving?
Blair: No, no, no not yet. On this trade thingy…[inaudible]
Bush: yeah I told that to the man
Blair: Are you planning to say that here or not?
Bush: If you want me toBlair: Well, it’s just that if the discussion arises…
Bush: I just want some movement.
Bush: Yesterday we didn’t see much movement
Blair: No, no, it may be that it’s not, it maybe that it’s impossible
Bush: I am prepared to say it
Blair: But it’s just I think what we need to be an opposition
Bush: Who is introducing the trade
Bush: Tell her to call ’em
Bush: Tell her to put him on them on the spot.Thanks for [inaudbible] it’s awfully thoughtful of you
Blair: It’s a pleasure
Bush: I know you picked it out yourself
Blair: Oh, absoultely, in fact [inaudble]
Bush: What about Kofi [inaudible] his attitude to ceasefire and everything else … happens
Blair: Yeah, no I think the [inaudible] is really difficult. We can’t stop this unless you get this international business agreed.
Blair: I don’t know what you guys have talked about but as I say I am perfectly happy to try and see what the lie of the land is but you need that done quickly because otherwise it will spiral
Bush: I think Condi is going to go pretty soon
Blair: But that’s that’s that’s all that matters. But if you, you see it will take some time to get that together
Bush: Yeah, yeah
Blair: But at least it gives people…
Bush: It’s a process, I agree. I told her your offer to…
Blair: Well…it’s only if I mean… you know. If she’s got a…, or if she needs the ground prepared as it were… Because obviously if she goes out, she’s got to succeed, if it were, whereas I can go out and just talk
Bush: You see, the … thing is what they need to do is to get Syria, to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over
Blair: Syria Bush: Why?
Blair: Because I think this is all part of the same thing
Blair: What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if we get a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way…
Bush: Yeah, yeah, he is sweet
Blair: He is honey. And that’s what the whole thing is about. It’s the same with Iraq
Bush: I felt like telling Kofi to call, to get on the phone to Bashad [Bashir Assad](9a and make something happen
Bush: We are not blaming the Lebanese government
Blair: Is this…? (at this point Blair taps the microphone in front of him and the sound is cut.)