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Middle East: Peace Negotiations

Volume 469: debated on Monday 10 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) financial, (b) staffing and (c) other resources the Government have provided for the former Prime Minister in his role as Middle East Envoy for the Quartet. (172178)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary gave to the hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Mr. Moore) on 15 November 2007, Official Report, column 392W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) financial, (b) staffing and (c) other resources the Government plan to provide over each of the next three years for the former Prime Minister in his role as Middle East Envoy for the Quartet. (172179)

The Government will keep under close review how it can best support Mr. Blair’s work.

The UK has so far provided £400,000 to a UN Development Programme Trust Fund which provides operational and technical support to Mr. Blair’s office in Jerusalem. The UK has also seconded four staff to his team. Other international donors are also supporting his work.

The Government strongly support the work of the right hon. Tony Blair as Quartet representative. He is well placed to drive forward Palestinian capacity building, which is a clear priority. The Middle East Peace Process is one of our top priorities and the UK will continue to support the Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia) and their representative, Mr. Blair, in their work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether details of (a) the role of the right hon. Tony Blair as the Middle East Envoy for the Quartet, (b) his salary, (c) his team, (d) his costs and (e) funding for the role will be published by the Quartet. (172596)

The right hon. Tony Blair has been appointed by, and reports to, the Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia). On 27 June, the Quartet principals announced the right hon. Tony Blair’s appointment as Quartet representative. As set out in the Quartet statement of 27 June, his mandate is to:

mobilise international assistance to the Palestinians, working closely with donors and existing co-ordination bodies;

help to identify, and secure appropriate international support in addressing, the institutional governance needs of the Palestinian state, focusing as a matter of urgency on the rule of law;

develop plans to promote Palestinian economic development, including private sector partnerships, building on previously agreed frameworks, especially concerning access and movement; and

liaise with other countries as appropriate in support of the agreed Quartet objectives.

Mr Blair is not paid a salary.

It will be a matter for the Quartet to determine whether to publish details of Mr. Blair’s team, costs and funding.