After a long absence of support from the United Kingdom, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has received public praise from British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In the Social Democratic Party publication Vorwarts, Blair wrote that Schröder is a "powerful political leader and statesman, who has pointed Germany in the right direction." The British leader gave Schröder credit for sticking to his social and labor market reforms even as they faced criticism from his own party members. He said that although disagreement on the Iraq war and European Union financing had put some strain on British-German relations, the two leaders have much in common. "We share the conviction that the challenges of globalization have to be faced with reforms."