Tony Blair has been touted as the Quartet’s next Middle East envoy. Media reports increasingly have pointed to Blair, who steps down as Britain’s prime minister next week, as a possible successor to James Wolfensohn, the envoy of the diplomatic grouping who resigned last year. Blair’s office has declined comment. Blair has rivaled President Bush in the intensity of his efforts to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace. Should he agree to represent the Quartet the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia he will have the challenging task of building a strategy following the violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last week by Hamas.
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