LONDON (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair paid respect to Northern Ireland's John Hume on Monday, praising him for bringing peace to the troubled province after decades of bloodshed.
Blair, who served as prime minister from 1997 to 2007, said that when he became prime minister Hume had sat him down and told him: "Peace is possible."
"John Hume genuinely was a political titan," Blair said. "His contribution to peace in Northern Ireland was extraordinary, I don't think we would ever have really got the peace process going and implemented if he hadn't been there."
"It is completely fair to say that without John Hume I think it unlikely there would have been peace in Northern Ireland, he was one of a handful of people who really made it happen," he said.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton)