Netanyahu Discusses Mideast Peace and Security With Former British PM and Quartet Envoy Tony Blair
Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Jerusalem on Monday morning before holding a joint meeting to discuss regional security and prospects for Middle East peace.
“You’ve been a great help for all of us trying to move forward in the cause of peace and security in the Middle East and I’m very grateful to you for that,” Netanyahu told Blair.
Tony Blair has been significantly involved in the Middle East peace process, particularly since 2007 when he assumed the role as envoy for the Middle East Quartet. The Quartet, which is comprised of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia, was formed in 2002 at the height of tensions during the Second Intifada, in an effort to bring Israel and the Palestinian Authority back to negotiations.
Tony Blair resigned from his post as the Quartet’s envoy in May of 2015 in order to assume an alternative role, albeit an informal one, in helping to bring about a final settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Blair launched an initiative of his own this past November in which he said that he would “work through this Initiative for the Middle East, as I call it, to try and push and promote a political process in the framework of the Arab peace initiative.”
Blair, whose meeting with Netanyahu follows that of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry yesterday, implicitly expressed hope that Egypt’s efforts would bear fruit.
“I think yesterday’s visit was extremely important and significant and I hope this can offer new opportunities for the future for peace in the region and stability in the region,” said Blair.