Quartet meets Blair

The Quartet guiding the Middle East peace process met for the first time with its new envoy, Tony Blair.

Blair, who quit last month as British prime minister, met in Lisbon Thursday with top representatives of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

The meeting comes days after President Bush resuscitated Israeli-Palestinian talks by pledging an influx of cash to the Palestinian Authority to build institutions and calling for a conference in the fall to fund-raise for the Palestinians.

Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, represented the United States at the meeting. She said Blair’s role would be “completely complementary,” playing down talk of expectations by Blair that he would deal with final-status issues such as refugees, Jerusalem and borders.

Reuters reported that the meeting this fall would probably be in the United States.

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