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Blair denies he will be Trump's Middle East envoy

Former British PM Tony Blair [Center for American Progress/Flickr]
Former British PM Tony Blair [Center for American Progress / Flickr]

Tony Blair has denied claims that he is positioning himself to be US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy.

The allegations follow a meeting between Blair and the US president's son-in-law and key adviser, Jared Kushner, at the White House on Wednesday.

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On 4 March the Mail on Sunday "revealed" that Blair had attended a secret meeting at the White House to discuss working for the president. The article claimed that Trump is attracted to the former Quartet's Middle East envoy's knowledge of the region. The paper added that Blair and Kushner discussed how to achieve peace in the Middle East.

£16,000

    A week was being spent from taxpayers' coffers to help Tony Blair carry out private business meetings in the Middle East in 2015

A spokeswoman for Blair described the article in the Mail on Sunday as an "invention", stating that he continues to work for peace "in a private capacity", but did not deny the meetings between Blair and Kushner took place.

Blair worked as Middle East envoy for the Quartet – the US, the EU, Russia and the UN – from 2007 to 2015 seeking to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process but was criticised for being too close to Israel.

Read: Amnesty says Trump's "poisonous" rhetoric makes world a darker place

Many believed his title as envoy was highly inappropriate given his involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and his business activities in the Middle East. In 2015 the Telegraph revealed that taxpayers were paying up to £16,000 a week to help Blair carry out private business meetings in the Middle East.

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