Tony Blair to quit as envoy for Mideast Quartet

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he is quitting as Mideast Envoy for the Quartet.

Story highlights

  • Blair wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to officially step down
  • Former PM says he will continue to be involved in the search for Mideast peace

London (CNN)Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is quitting as the Mideast envoy for the international group that has been working to achieve a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his office confirmed Wednesday.

Blair wrote Wednesday to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to say he will step down next month from the post with the Quartet -- a grouping of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union.

    Two-state solution 'essential'

    It's a role in which Blair has served for eight years, but the conflict is intractable and signs of success are scant. His office said he would remain involved in the struggle for peace in the Middle East, and would work toward that end with the United States, the EU and others.
    "Tony Blair is of the view that the cause of a viable and independent Palestinian State alongside a secure and recognized State of Israel is essential to both peoples, to the region and to the wider world," his office said in a statement. "He also believes an entirely new approach is needed to obtain it."
    Blair served as prime minister from 1997 to 2007.