'Signs of change in Baghdad': Blair

British Prime Minister Tony Blair today insisted there were “real signs of change and progress” in Iraq – despite the deadly violence scarring daily life in the capital.

Mr Blair brushed aside a mortar attack on Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone minutes before he arrived for his surprise final visit as prime minister.

Downing Street insisted there was no evidence the attack had been directed at him.

Mr Blair, speaking after talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and President Jalal Talabani, told the news conference: “There are mortar attacks and terrorist attacks happening every day, that’s the reality.

“The question is, what are we going to do in the face of these attacks?

“The answer is, we don’t give in to them. The very purpose of the attacks, the suicide bombs, the mortars aimed in here, is so that you will carry nothing but that on your news and won’t actually talk about the progress that’s happening here.”

Blair said: “Plainly the security situation remains very difficult but on the other hand there are real signs of change and progress also.”

Most Read in World