Report: Tony Blair to ‘step back’ as Mideast Quartet envoy

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Tony Blair is preparing to “step back” as envoy for the Middle East Quartet, the London-based Financial Times reported.

Blair, a former British prime minister, has served in his position with the Quartet – the diplomatic grouping of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations that guides the Middle East process, for nearly eight years.

Blair has realized that his high-profile role is no longer appropriate, the Financial Times reported Sunday, citing “several people familiar with the situation.”

Blair reportedly met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday in Sharm el-Sheik to discuss a job change, according to the newspaper, and spoke with U.N. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.


The newspaper said: “His move comes amid deep unease in parts of Washington and Brussels over his poor relations with senior Palestinian Authority figures and sprawling business interests.”

While stepping back and trying to “recast” his role, Blair is “determined to remain part of the peace process,” according to the newspaper.

An announcement of Blair’s new role could come later this week, according to the Financial Times.

Blair was appointed Quartet envoy in 2007, at the request of the administration of President George W. Bush, shortly after stepping down from a decade as British prime minister.