Report: Blair to be named ME Quartet envoy

Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be named on Wednesday as special envoy for the international diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East with a portfolio focused on Palestinian economic and political reform, a senior US official said. Members of the Quartet, the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia, will give their public blessing and announce that Blair has agreed to take the job in simultaneous statements from their capitals and New York, the official told The Associated Press. The official, who insisted on anonymity because the statements are still being drafted, spoke after being briefed on a meeting of Quartet representatives held earlier Tuesday in Jerusalem. Three US officials said Monday that discussions on naming Blair to the post had been completed and the issue was on the Quartet's Tuesday agenda.