Feature

Blair’s limited mandate

The week's news at a glance.

Jerusalem

Tony Blair was only mildly optimistic this week as he began his new role as Middle East envoy. “I think there is a sense of possibility,” Blair said, “but whether that sense of possibility can be translated into something, that is something that needs to be worked at and thought about over time.” The former British prime minister was appointed by the so-called Middle East Quartet—Russia, the U.S., the E.U., and the U.N.—to help the Palestinians assemble the economic and political tools they need to build a state. He’s not mandated to discuss the overarching problems that must be resolved, such as borders, refugees, or the status of Jerusalem. Nor is he allowed to meet members of Hamas, the militant Islamist party that won Palestinian elections last year and has since taken over Gaza. As a first step this week, Blair met separately with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and Arab ministers.

Recommended

North Korea imposes 5-day lockdown on capital to fight 'respiratory illness'
North Koreans walk in Pyongchang.
sure ...

North Korea imposes 5-day lockdown on capital to fight 'respiratory illness'

Former U.S. generals explain how U.S. and German tanks can help Ukraine
Leopard 2 battle tanks
Many tanks

Former U.S. generals explain how U.S. and German tanks can help Ukraine

Can climate change lose Russia the war in Ukraine?
A destroyed Russian tank
Briefing

Can climate change lose Russia the war in Ukraine?

Why Turkey is blocking NATO's expansion
Turkey, Finland, and Sweden.
Briefing

Why Turkey is blocking NATO's expansion

Most Popular

The big debate about alcohol
Alcohol.
In depth

The big debate about alcohol

Former U.S. generals explain how U.S. and German tanks can help Ukraine
Leopard 2 battle tanks
Many tanks

Former U.S. generals explain how U.S. and German tanks can help Ukraine

Andrea Riseborough's Oscar nomination sparks Academy scrutiny
Andrea Riseborough
andrea fallborough?

Andrea Riseborough's Oscar nomination sparks Academy scrutiny