By Shane McGinley
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil outlined the “difficulties” facing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process
Former UK prime minister and official Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East Tony Blair met with Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the “difficulties” facing the Middle East peace process, it was reported on Sunday.
Qandil told Blair of the “difficulties and obstacles facing the political process between the Palestinians and Israelis”, according to the Mena Egyptian State News Agency.
Blair represents the Quartet, the entity set up to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and consisting of the foursome of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia, and was appointed in 2007.
Talks between the Israelis and Palestinians have been in deadlock since September 2010 and last year Dr Hanan Ashrawi, a leading Palestinian politician and legislator, hit out at Blair’s role in the region.
“I don’t think it is Tony Blair’s leadership… I think the Quartet is run exclusively by Washington,” she said.
“The Quartet has been, in many ways, sidelined by the US, diverted by the US and we believe that they must step up and they must decide to take their own policies seriously.”