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Twice bitten, twice shy. Tony Blair was in New Delhi on Tuesday to promote his Faith Foundation but shunned the media after his two public engagements.

The former British Prime Minister has found himself under the glare of UK tabloids in recent days. A Daily Mail report on Sunday suggested Blair was having an affair with an Israeli heiress, Ofra Strauss. A day earlier, the paper splashed allegations that he had pushed deals in Palestine for JP Morgan as an envoy of the Quartet, a global body working to forge reconciliation with Israel. Blair is an adviser to the financial giant.

The Labour Party leader met religious leaders in the morning and minority affairs minister Salman Khurshid in the evening. The aim was to draw lessons for the foundation, whose goal is inter-faith harmony, from India’s experience as a multi-religious nation.

The Telegraph managed to catch up with Blair briefly after the talks with Khurshid. “We had a fantastic meeting,” Blair said as he slipped into the lift. Khurshid played down the meeting as merely an “opportunity for us to reflect on our work”.

Blair dodged the waiting media even after his meeting with religious leaders at a city hotel. Dominic Emmanuel, the spokesperson for Delhi’s Catholic Archdiocese who attended the two-hour session, said: “They want to expand their work here.”

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