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Offices of the Quartet in Jerusalem

The Quartet on the Middle East or Middle East Quartet, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and "international and "supranational entities involved in mediating the "Israeli–Palestinian peace process. The Quartet comprises the "United Nations, the "United States, the "European Union, and "Russia. The group was established in "Madrid in 2002, recalling "Madrid Conference of 1991, as a result of the escalating conflict in the "Middle East. The Quartet's current Special Envoy is "Kito de Boer,[1] who assumed the position after the resignation of "Tony Blair in 2015.[2]



The initiative to establish the Quartet evolved following the outbreak of the Second Intifada in September 2000 and the futile cease-fire attempts that followed. On October 25, 2001, representatives of the EU, UN and the US and Russian governments met Palestinian leader "Yasser Arafat and jointly expressed support for his policy of implementing cease-fire and security reforms in the Palestinian Authority.[3] During the Israeli incursions into Palestinian areas in April 2002, the representatives of the same four entities met in Madrid and again called for implementation of cease-fire agreements brokered by the US government before. In the same meeting, they also agreed to transform their quadripartite cooperation into a permanent forum for follow-up of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.[4]

Special Envoys[edit]

"James Wolfensohn, the former president of the "World Bank, was appointed Special Envoy for "Israel's disengagement from Gaza in April 2005.[5] He stepped down the following year because of restrictions in dealing with the Islamic militant group "Hamas and the withholding of money from the Palestinian Authority, risking its collapse.[6]

"Tony Blair announced that he had accepted the position of the official envoy of the Quartet, the same day he resigned as "Prime Minister of the "United Kingdom and as a "Member of Parliament on 27 June 2007.[7] The approval came after initial objections by Russia.[8] The United Nations were overseeing the finances and security of his mission, before his resignation on 27 May 2015.[9][2]

The present special envoy from November 2015 is the Dutch national "Kito de Boer.[1]

Peace efforts and actions[edit]

Tony Blair periodically travelled to the Middle East following his appointment as Special Envoy. On a trip there in March 2008, he met with Israeli leaders to discuss recent violence. A planned meeting between Israeli and Palestinian businessmen was postponed due to recent fighting.[10] In May 2008 Blair announced a new plan for peace and for Palestinian rights, based heavily on the ideas of the "Peace Valley plan.[11]

In an August 2009 interview, Blair said that he would like to see Hamas and Hezbollah included in peace talks but under the right conditions, that religious leaders should be more involved in the peace process, and that resolving the conflict could be easier than it was in Northern Ireland.[12]

In a speech given in Israel on August 24, 2010, Blair sharply criticised the campaign of "delegitimization" being carried out by enemies of Israel and proponents of the Palestinians, which refuses to grant Israel its legitimate right to its own point of view and self-defense. "Don't apply rules to the Government of Israel that you would never dream of applying to your own country," he said. He characterized such double standards and prejudice as being an "affront to humanity" which "it is a democratic duty to counter."[13]


Criticism and shortcomings[edit]

Despite the significance officially attached to the Quartet's part in promoting the peace process, many of its statements are merely repetition of previous statements and no significant changes in policy by either the Israeli government or the Palestinian Authority have occurred resulting from a Quartet meeting.[14]

The Quartet has been fiercely criticized for its ineffectiveness. When Tony Blair held the function of Quartet representative, in December 2012, Palestinian officials said that "Tony Blair shouldn't take it personally, but he should pack up his desk at the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem and go home. They said his job, and the body he represents, are ′useless, useless, useless′".[15]

The "Center for Middle East Policy said in February 2012 that "The Quartet has little to show for its decade-long involvement in the peace process. ... Having spent most of the last three years in a state of near paralysis, and having failed to dissuade the Palestinians from seeking UN membership and recognition in September 2011, the Quartet has finally reached the limits of its utility. ... The current mechanism is too outdated, dysfunctional, and discredited to be reformed. Instead of undertaking another vain attempt to 'reactivate' the Quartet, the United States, the European Union, United Nations, and Russia should simply allow the existing mechanism to go quietly into the night,".[15]

Main sessions[edit]

The Quartet's meetings have been held on the following dates:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Welcome to the website of the Office of the Quartet". Archived April 2, 2016, at the "Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b Josh May (2015-05-27). "Tony Blair resigns as Middle East peace envoy". Politics Home. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-05-27. 
  3. ^ Joint statement, October 25, 2001 Archived October 3, 2011, at the "Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Letter dated 10 April 2002 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council Archived October 3, 2011, at the "Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Secretary-General Welcoms James Wolfensohn's Appointment by Quartet" (Press release). "United Nations. 14 April 2005. 
  6. ^ Stephen Farrell (3 May 2006). "West 'has to prevent collapse' of Palestinian Authority". The Times. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  7. ^ "Blair appointed Middle East envoy". BBC News. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  8. ^ "Quartet at loggerheads over scope of authority for Mideast envoy". "Haaretz. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  9. ^ "United Nations Security Council Verbatim Report 5736. S/PV/5736 29 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
  10. ^ Herb Keinon, Hilary Leila Krieger, and Tovah Lazaroff, "Livni: Israel not expanding settlements", Jerusalem Post, 3/13/08.
  11. ^ Israel may ease grip in Tony Blair deal to revive West Bank Archived September 23, 2011, at the "Wayback Machine., The Times May 14, 2008
  12. ^ "Terrasanta.net" (in Italian). Theholylandreview.net. Retrieved 2010-08-20. ["permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Tony Blair, "It is a democratic duty to counter delegitimisation of Israel," full text at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 19, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2010.  and summarized by Herb Keinon in the Jerusalem Post of Aug. 25, 2010, "Delegitimization of Israel is affront to humanity," at http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=185860.["permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Nathalie Tocci, The EU, the Middle East Quartet and (In)effective Multilateralism["permanent dead link]
  15. ^ a b ′Useless, useless, useless′: the Palestinian verdict on Tony Blair's job Archived November 27, 2016, at the "Wayback Machine.. Matthew Kalman, The Independent, 16 December 2012
  16. ^ Statement of Aug. 16, 2011 Archived October 3, 2011, at the "Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ Statement of September 23, 2011
  18. ^ Statement by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, following the Middle East Quartet Envoys' Meeting in Brussels Archived October 15, 2014, at the "Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

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