Tony Blair resigns as envoy of Quartet to Middle East

Friday, May 29, 2015

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced on Wednesday his intention to resign from his post as the Quartet's envoy to the Middle East, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Blair has held this position for the past eight years, and his resignation is to take effect in June.

The Quartet on the Middle East, formed in 2002, is made up of Russia, the United States, the UN, and the EU. Its purpose is to promote the IsraeliPalestinian peace process and to help develop the Palestinian economy.

The Independent suggests deterioration of Blair's relationship with leading figures in the Palestinian National Authority. Reportedly Blair means to continue with his diplomatic efforts after his resignation; to "concentrate on strengthening relations between Israel and the wider Arab world", as well as "focus on encouraging Israel to take measures to dramatically improve the daily lives of Palestinians in Gaza."

Preceding Wednesday's meeting on the peace process by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in Brussels, Blair's office wrote in its last report to the committee: "Over a year on from the breakdown in talks between Israel and the Palestinians, there is still no tangible political horizon in sight."

Following Blair's resignation, the Quartet issued a formal statement saying "As the Quartet's envoy on the ground during the last eight years, Mr Blair demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the cause of Israeli–Palestinian peace and made lasting contributions to the effort to promote economic growth and improve daily life in the West Bank and Gaza".