Tony Blair’s letter as Quartet’s Middle East envoy to Hillary Clinton and five world leaders

By David Hencke | 16 March 2015

Exaro today publishes in full a letter sent by Tony Blair as Middle East envoy in which he promotes the cause of a lucrative telecommunications contract.

The confidential letter, declassified and released under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), shows that Blair prioritised the contract, which was sought by a company client of JP Morgan, the bank where Blair was hired as an advisor. Blair, who wrote the letter as representative of the Quartet, says that he did not know about JP Morgan’s link to the deal.

“The situation in Gaza remains unsustainable in the medium term and highly combustible” – Tony Blair, in confidential letter as Middle East envoy

His letter, written in September 2009, came ahead of a meeting in New York the following week of the Quartet “principals”. The letter refers to the previous Quartet meeting three months earlier in Trieste, Italy.

Blair focussed on, as he described it in the letter, “some of the core issues involved in the agenda for transformative change on the ground in both the West Bank and Gaza.”

He talked about the “transformative change agenda” – repeatedly – in a Blairite mantra that has the ring of his “third way”.

The telecoms contract was one of two “flagship projects” that “head the list” of major issues, Blair wrote.

His letter also touched on security issues, which are outside his mandate as the Quartet’s Middle East envoy. He warned: “The situation in Gaza remains unsustainable in the medium term and highly combustible.”

The letter was obtained for a new book, ‘Blair Inc’, due out on Thursday. The book examines Blair’s life since he stopped being Britain’s prime minister in 2007 after 10 years, and was written without his co-operation. The State Department redacted one short passage in the letter before releasing it under FOIA.

Click on the link below to download Blair’s full letter to Clinton and other “principals” in the Quartet. You need to register to Exaro if you have not already done so, and then log in to download any source document from the website.

Additional research by Alex Varley-Winter. ‘Blair Inc: The Man Behind the Mask’ by Francis Beckett, David Hencke and Nick Kochan. Published on March 19 by John Blake Publishing, £20.

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