A state-run Syrian newspaper is strongly criticizing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's appointment as the international envoy to the Middle East.

The Syrian newspaper Tishrin said in an editorial Saturday that the former Prime Minister is a "man of war" and can not serve as an advocate for peace.

The editorial accuses Mr. Blair of taking action to impose sanctions and isolation on Syria. It also lambasts his ties with U.S. President George Bush and his support of the war in Iraq.

Shortly after stepping down Wednesday as prime minister, Mr. Blair was named special Mideast envoy by the international Quartet of middle east peace mediators, which includes the European Union, Russia, the United Nations, and the U.S.

His task is to lay the groundwork for Palestinian statehood.

The Quartet said last week that recent events in the Gaza Strip and West Bank make it more urgent than ever to advance the search for peace in the Middle East.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.