Blair Is Appointed Mideast Envoy

Tony Blair resigns and is made envoy to the Middle East. What makes you think he would succeed in Palestine when he had failed in Iraq?

Tony Blair, who stepped down today as the prime minister of Britain, has been appointed a new senior peace envoy for the Middle East, working on building the framework for a Palestinian state, officials said today.

The widely expected announcement was made at the United Nations in New York and at the State Department, on the same day that violence surged in the Gaza Strip with the killings of at least 13 Palestinians, 11 of them fighters, during Israeli military incursions.

Mr. Blair, who handed his office over to Gordon Brown in London, becomes a senior envoy for the “quartet,” diplomatic shorthand for the four leading outside forces working on peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

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