Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Statement on the Appointment of Tony Blair

Statement by Minister MacKay on the Appointment of Tony Blair
as Special Envoy to the Middle East

June 27, 2007

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, today made the following statement on the appointment of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as special envoy of the Quartet (the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia) to the Middle East:

"Canada congratulates Tony Blair on his appointment as special envoy to the Middle East. With his experience and commitment to this issue, we are confident that Mr. Blair will make an important contribution to building the conditions for a return to the peace process. We also congratulate the Quartet members—the U.S., Russia, the EU and the UN—for making the decision to intensify their efforts and leadership at this crucial moment.

"Canada will offer its full support to Mr. Blair and the Quartet in order to reinvigorate the peace process and reach the goal of a two-state solution, with Israel and a future state of Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security.

"Canada also recognizes and applauds the leadership offered by regional partners and the important steps taken at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit, which took place on June 25 among Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"We welcome Israel’s stated intentions at that summit to transfer a portion of Palestinian tax revenues and release Palestinian prisoners, and encourage the Government of Israel to quickly implement these measures. We also encourage Israel to ease restrictions on movement in and access to the West Bank."