Bush 'in envoy talks with Blair'
BBC | June 20, 2007
President Bush has spoken to UK PM Tony Blair about his becoming a Mid-East envoy, a White House official says.
Mr Bush and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice directly discussed the idea with Mr Blair, the official said.
The president would reportedly like him to be an envoy for the quartet of the US, European Union, UN and Russia.
The official spokesman for Mr Blair said "there is a lot of speculation about the prime minister's future and much of it is inaccurate".
The White House official told the BBC that the talks were preliminary, and did not have any comment on Mr Blair's reaction to the suggestion.
Mr Blair steps down as prime minister on 27 June, ending 10 years in Downing Street.
The White House official did not know if the president had discussed the idea with the other three members of the peace quartet.
It follows reports on the Al Jazeera TV news network that Mr Blair was set to take up the position, which has been vacant since former World Bank chief James Wolfensohn resigned the post in April 2006.
Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin said: "Officials in the prime minister's office are aware of this idea and Prime Minister (Ehud) Olmert is very supportive of Prime Minister Blair and of his continuing involvement in the Middle East and the peace process."
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said: "Obviously Prime Minister Blair has been very active and deeply involved in Middle East peace issues throughout his prime ministership."
She added that Mr Blair and the US President spoke often, adding: "It would not surprise me if they have talked about what Prime Minister Blair would like to do following the end of his term... but we don't have anything to announce today".
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