Blair to Resign as Middle East Peace Envoy

LONDON, March 16, 2015 (WAFA) – The Middle East Peace Envoy Tony Blair is reportedly preparing to resign from the post which he held for nearly eight years and negotiating a different position yet within the Middle East Quartet, a report by the Financial Times said on Sunday.

According to the FT, the announcement of the former United Kingdom Prime Minister to step down from his role as the Middle East Quartet’s special envoy is likely to be made this week.

Last Saturday, according to FT, Blair met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheik to discuss a potential job change. He spoke with United Nations Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in this regard.

Blair is currently negotiating  a ‘recast’ of his position in the group, sources told the Times, and is intending to remain involved in the Middle East peace process.

He has served as envoy to the Quartet for nearly eight years, starting immediately after resigning as prime minister in 2007.

In 2014, a group of former British diplomats and political figures wrote an open letter calling for Blair’s resignation from his role as the Special Envoy of the Middle East Quartet, citing, among other reasons, his ‘blurring the lines between his public position as envoy’ and his private business dealings in the region.

According to the Guardian, Blair’s office has not issued any statement regarding the expected resignation.

“It is long overdue,” a diplomat was quoted by FT. “He has been ineffective in this job. He has no credibility in this part of the world.”

Another person close to the Obama administration told the newspaper: “Tony Blair is neither an asset nor a liability, but his current role is no longer viable.”