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'Ineffective' Tony Blair quits Middle East envoy post

By AP Reporters

Published 28/05/2015

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

Tony Blair has stepped down as the Quartet's Middle East peace envoy, leaving a post that struggled to deliver results in its quest to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The departure reflected the dire state of Middle East peace efforts, which have been stalled for years and show no signs of resuming following the formation of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government. A top Palestinian official said he was "happy" Mr Blair was leaving, accusing him of ineffectiveness and caving in to Israeli pressure.

The Quartet - the US, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations - appointed Mr Blair to the post in 2007 with the goal of helping develop the Palestinian economy and institutions.

The mission was meant to prepare the groundwork for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as part of a peace agreement.

But Mr Blair quickly found himself fighting small battles with Israel over the movement of Palestinian goods and people in the West Bank, and dealing with the difficulties of a Gaza Strip ruled by the Hamas militant group.

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