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Tony Blair has won a historic third term in Britain.

Tony Blair, elected to a historic third term as Britain’s prime minister, acknowledged Friday that the Iraq war was “a deeply divisive issue” that hurt his Labour Party, but he said Britons were ready to “move on” and focus on the future.

Blair weathered a backlash from voters in Thursday’s election, although Labour’s majority in the House of Commons was reduced significantly to about 60 seats instead of the previous 161. That could weaken Blair’s mandate and force him to step down earlier than planned during his five-year term.

“I know that Iraq has been a deeply divisive issue in this country. … But I also know and believe that after this election people want to move on, they want to focus on the future – in Iraq and here,” Blair said outside his office after returning from Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II confirmed his victory.

President Bush, who left Friday for a five-day, four-country tour of central and eastern Europe, called Blair from Air Force One to congratulate him on his re-election.

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