September 29, 2011
By Adrian Blomfield, Jerusalem
9:26PM BST 28 Sep 2011
The senior echelons of the Palestine Liberation Organisation are expected to meet in the coming days to discuss a proposal to declare Mr Blair persona non grata, officials said.
Predicting unanimous support for the motion from the entire Palestinian leadership, they said the intention was to isolate the former prime minister to such an extent that his position would become untenable.
Mr Blair has been viewed with an element of distrust by some Palestinians ever since his appointment as the envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East – the mediating body comprising the United States, the EU, the UN and Russia – on the day he left Downing Street in June 2007.
But antagonism has mounted over allegations that he lobbied European powers to vote against a Palestinian bid for statehood submitted to the United Nations in New York last week. “We have been extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with Mr Blair’s performance since he became envoy, but particularly in the past few weeks,” a senior Palestinian official said.
No formal request for Mr Blair’s dismissal has been made to the Quartet, and it is likely the Palestinians will come under intense US and European pressure to change course and desist from making a public pronouncement on his ostracism.