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Voice of America, Mideast Quartet Discusses Blair Appointment as Mideast Envoy

Mideast Quartet Discusses Blair Appointment as Mideast Envoy

The Quartet of Middle East negotiators met for about three hours at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. Media reports say at the top of the agenda was the expected appointment of outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a new special envoy to the Middle East.

The quartet is made up of the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations.

Quartet diplomats would not comment following their talks, but speaking in London, Mr. Blair said he is willing to take on the task.

"Anybody who cares about greater peace and stability in the world knows that a lasting and enduring resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue is essential," he said. "As I have said on many occasions, I would do whatever I could to help such a resolution come about." The Quartet meeting follows a summit in Egypt that brought the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and Egypt together.

At the summit, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would release 250 prisoners who belong to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction. He also pledged to ease restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank by dismantling roadblocks and checkpoints.

The Palestinian territories split last week, following a military takeover of Gaza by Hamas militants. Mr. Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led Palestinian unity government and declared a new emergency government based in the West Bank.

At the summit, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders pledged support for Mr. Abbas, but they also said that any peace deal in the region must include all of the Palestinian territories.


Mideast Quartet Discusses Blair Appointment as Mideast Envoy Le quatuor du Moyen-Orient discute de la nomination de Blair en tant qu'envoyé du Moyen-Orient

The Quartet of Middle East negotiators met for about three hours at the U.S. Le Quatuor des négociateurs du Moyen-Orient s'est réuni pendant environ trois heures aux États-Unis Consulate in Jerusalem. Media reports say at the top of the agenda was the expected appointment of outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a new special envoy to the Middle East.

The quartet is made up of the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations.

Quartet diplomats would not comment following their talks, but speaking in London, Mr. Blair said he is willing to take on the task.

"Anybody who cares about greater peace and stability in the world knows that a lasting and enduring resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue is essential," he said. "As I have said on many occasions, I would do whatever I could to help such a resolution come about." The Quartet meeting follows a summit in Egypt that brought the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and Egypt together.

At the summit, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would release 250 prisoners who belong to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction. He also pledged to ease restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank by dismantling roadblocks and checkpoints. Il s'est également engagé à assouplir les restrictions à la circulation des Palestiniens en Cisjordanie en démantelant les barrages routiers et les points de contrôle.

The Palestinian territories split last week, following a military takeover of Gaza by Hamas militants. Les territoires palestiniens se sont séparés la semaine dernière, à la suite d'une prise de contrôle militaire de Gaza par des militants du Hamas. Mr. Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led Palestinian unity government and declared a new emergency government based in the West Bank. M. Abbas a limogé le gouvernement d'unité palestinien dirigé par le Hamas et a déclaré un nouveau gouvernement d'urgence basé en Cisjordanie.

At the summit, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders pledged support for Mr. Abbas, but they also said that any peace deal in the region must include all of the Palestinian territories.