In a war-torn region
Ramallah: Tony Blair is saying the bare minimum in defence of his chancellor. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is only because he thinks it is "disrespectful" to talk about these issues whilst in a war-torn region.
Asked whether he believed Gordon Brown had been involved in a coup attempt he could have said "nonsense" or "there's no evidence for that". He chose instead to say, "of course I accept Gordon's assurances".
It is Mr Brown who feels under pressure to utter warm words about Mr Blair and not the other way round.
The prime minister feels free to put his energies into pursuing progress in the Middle East and is visibly cheered by the decision of President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert to meet, and the talk of the creation of a Palestinian government of national unity - which though it would include Hamas - would accept the right of Israel to exist.
P.S. It is rather odd listening to Gordon Brown's interview on a mobile in the military parade ground of the Palestinian president's compound, and typing this on a Blackberry on a bus taking me through the West Bank.