Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, will step down next month as the special Middle East peace envoy of the Quartet group representing the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
Blair has occupied the post since 2007, but there has been little progress in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. He sent a letter confirming his resignation to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released the following statement in the wake of the news:
“I thank the Quartet Envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair, who in recent years has made great efforts in promoting stability and peace in the region. His deep understanding of the Middle East has helped to develop reliable relationships with countries in the region.
“Tony Blair promoted important economic projects between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and helped to bridge the parties in the region, including in times of crisis.
“Israel appreciates and cherishes the work and integrity of Mr Blair. I hope in the future he will continue his efforts to contribute to peace and stability in the region.”
Netanyahu and Blair have worked closely together over the years. No replacement has been named as of yet.