Quartet of Middle East negotiators have met in Jerusalem, to discuss how to
revive the Arab-Israeli peace process, following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza
Strip and the just-concluded summit between Israel and its Arab neighbors in
Egypt. VOA's Jim Teeple reports Quartet discussions also focused on the expected
appointment of outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a new special envoy
to the Middle East.
The Quartet of Middle East negotiators met for about
three hours at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem. Media reports say at the top of
the agenda was the expected appointment of outgoing
British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a new special envoy to the
The quartet is made up of the United States, the European Union, Russia, and
the United Nations.
Quartet diplomats would not comment following their talks, but speaking in
London, Mr. Blair said he is willing to take on the task.
"Anybody who cares about greater peace and stability in the world knows that
a lasting and enduring resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue is
essential," he said. "As I have said on many occasions, I would do whatever I
could to help such a resolution come about."
The Quartet meeting follows a summit in Egypt that brought the leaders of
Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and Egypt together.
At the summit, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would release 250
prisoners who belong to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction.
He also pledged to ease restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank
by dismantling roadblocks and checkpoints.
The Palestinian territories split last week, following a military takeover of
Gaza by Hamas militants. Mr. Abbas dismissed the Hamas-led Palestinian unity
government and declared a new emergency government based in the West Bank.
At the summit, Egyptian and Jordanian leaders pledged support for Mr. Abbas,
but they also said that any peace deal in the region must include all of the
outgoing :retiring from or
relinquishing a place, a position, or an office（即将离职的）