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Jewish diplomat appointed Blair aide

The Bush administration named a veteran U.S. diplomat to assist Tony Blair in promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Don Bandler, a former ambassador to Cyprus and a former director for Israeli and Palestinian affairs at the State Department, will be based in Jerusalem, a State Department statement said. He will represent the former British prime minister, who is now the lead Middle East envoy of the Quartet, the coalition of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Bandler, the scion of a Philadelphia Jewish family, most recently worked for the Kissinger McLarty consulting firm headed by Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state. The Quartet’s other members must affirm Bandler, but that is believed to be a formality.

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