Tony Blair began a fact-finding mission to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The former British prime minister, now Quartet envoy, arrived Tuesday in Israel and met Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for dinner. During his 10-day visit he is also scheduled to hold talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and assess bilateral efforts to agree on a basis for reviving peace talks.
Blair’s brief is to draft recommendations for how the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia might promote efforts to found a peaceful Palestinian state against the backdrop of Hamas’ recent takeover of the Gaza Strip.
Blair’s office said in a statement that he would have “detailed discussions with Israelis and Palestinians on a range of economic and security issues”.