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Tony Blair steps down as Middle East peace envoy

Tony Blair resigned as Middle East peace envoy on Wednesday, a source close to the former British prime minister said on Wednesday.

“He remains fully committed to assisting the international community in its work with Israel and the Palestinians to bring about progress on the two-state solution,” the source said. Blair would continue to work with key regional players and remain active in the region.

Blair, who has carved out a lucrative career as an adviser since leaving Downing Street in 2007, is said to have felt “constrained” by a role restricted to supporting Palestinian economic development.

He will see out his duties representing the US, Russia, the UN and the EU before stepping down next month.

The former Labour leader, who served as prime minister for 10 years, believes an “entirely new approach” is needed to securing a two-state solution in the Middle East, the source added, suggesting Blair would concentrate on Israel’s relations with the wider Arab world to end the “ongoing impasse in the peace process.”

In a recent trip to Gaza, the former prime minister laid out three preconditions for a successful peace process – improving the lives of Palestinians; creating a sovereign Palestinian state and a regionally-accepted Israel; and increasing pressure on neighbouring states to lead the peace process alongside the international community.

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