Friday 26 May 2017

Blair quits as peace envoy to Middle East

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Photo: PA
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Photo: PA

David Barrett in London

Tony Blair has resigned from his position as the Quartet's (UN, US, EU and Russia) peace envoy to the Middle East after seven years. The former British prime minister has been criticised for his dual role as diplomat and businessman.

He will quit the role - which he took up immediately after leaving Downing Street in 2007 - next month. Sources said that although Mr Blair will no longer represent the Quartet, he plans to remain "active on the issues".

Mr Blair's business interests have become increasingly controversial.

His global consultancy offers investment and strategic advice to governments, corporations and billionaires.

Clients include PetroSaudi, an oil company with links to the ruling Saudi royal family, JP Morgan and Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi wealth fund.

Mr Blair, although he denies it, is believed to be worth between £50m and £100m, and his assets include several houses and a country estate.

Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, said: "It is long overdue that he has decided to step down. Somebody else needs to be given a chance with a much improved mandate than Mr Blair had when he accepted the role."

Irish Independent

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