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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 27, 2007

President Bush Pleased by Appointment of Tony Blair as Quartet Representative in Middle East

Earlier today I spoke with Prime Minister Blair. It has been my pleasure to work with Tony Blair over the last six and a half years. He is not only a friend, but is also a visionary leader who has prepared his country to face challenges and opportunities over the horizon. Tony is a man who stands up for his beliefs and has the courage of his convictions. Because of his steadfast resolve in the War on Terror, millions of people around the world now enjoy the great rights of freedom and democracy.

I am pleased that this capable man has agreed to continue his work for peace in the Middle East. I welcome the appointment of Tony Blair as the Quartet Representative. In his new role, Tony will help Palestinians develop the political and economic institutions they will need for a democratic, sovereign state able to provide for its people and live in peace and security with Israel. I thank him for his willingness to give his time to this goal, which would be a historic step toward peace in the Middle East.

As he leaves the post of Prime Minister, and as he undertakes a new role as Quartet Representative, the people of the United States of America express our gratitude for his strong friendship and his continued efforts to lay the foundations for freedom in the Middle East.

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