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Blair named Middle East special envoy


New York : Former British prime minister Tony Blair was appointed Wednesday as an international envoy in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tasked with mobilising global aid and development for the Palestinians.

The announcement was made by United Nations spokeswoman Michelle Montas on behalf of the group mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that also includes the EU, the US and Russia, known as the Quartet.

Blair, who left office earlier Wednesday after 10 years as prime minister, will serve as special envoy for the quartet charged with overseeing the development of Palestinian infrastructure and government institutions.

"As representative, Tony Blair will bring continuity and intensity of focus to the work of the quartet in support of the Palestinians, within the broader framework of the quartet's efforts to promote an end to the conflict in conformity with the roadmap," a statement said.

The quartet's roadmap calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel. It calls also for security and political steps to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.