Blair said to step back from MidEast peace envoy role

Unease in Washington over his many charitable, diplomatic and commercial interests in the Middle East - report
Blair said to step back from MidEast peace envoy role
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair. (Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Mon 16 Mar 2015 01:55 PM

Former UK prime minister Tony Blair is set to take a step back from his role as peace envoy for the Quartet of Middle East, according to media reports.

The Financial Times reports that the US and Europe are currently reviewing its policy options before Israel’s election this week, with insiders saying the role is no longer tenable for Blair, with reported unease in Washington and Brussels over his poor relations with senior Palestinian Authority figures and growing business interests in the region.

After eight years in the role, Blair has reportedly discussed a role change with John Kerry, US secretary of state as recently as last Saturday, emphasising his keenness to remain part of the peace process. He has also spoken with the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, over possible changes to his role.

Blair’s office declined to comment on the news, but the Financial Times says a clarification of his role could come this week.

Among the concerns expressed in Washington are the many charitable, diplomatic and commercial interests Blair has in the Middle East.

A new book, due to be launched this month, revealed the millions amassed by Blair since leaving office in 2007, including several contracts sourced in the Middle East.

The book, ‘Blair Inc: The Man Behind The Mask’, claims how Blair has amassed a personal fortune of over $90 million and property portfolio worth $37.5 million in the eight years since he left office.

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