Ex-Mideast envoy says US thwarted efforts

James Wolfensohn has accused the US administration of thwarting his efforts on the job.

Ex-Mideast envoy says US thwarted efforts
James Wolfensohn, the former special envoy for the Middle East Quartet, has accused the US administration of thwarting his efforts on the job, according to an interview published in Israel on Friday.

"There was never a desire on the part of the Americans to give up control of the negotiations, and I would doubt that in the eyes of... the State Department team, I was ever anything but a nuisance," Haaretz quoted him as saying.

"The basic problem was that I didn't have the authority. The Quartet had the authority and within the Quartet it was the Americans who had the authority," the former World Bank president told the daily newspaper.

"It was not a Quartet decision to close the office," he said in what Haaretz called a "very unsubtle hint" over his resignation in 2006.

Haaretz said Wolfensohn believed Israeli officials also regarded him as a nuisance, particularly after former prime minister Ariel Sharon disappeared from public life following a stroke in January 2006.

But he expressed hope that former British premier Tony Blair, his successor, would have a "greater mandate" than the one he enjoyed.

Wolfensohn formally stepped down in May 2006 as envoy for the Middle East Quartet and economic coordinator for Gaza.

He was appointed envoy for the Quartet -- the European Union, Russia, United Nations and United States -- ahead of Israel's withdrawal of settlers and troops from Gaza, which was completed in September.

The Quartet's roadmap for peace blueprint to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has not been implemented despite its launch in 2003.

AFP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Temmuz 2007, 16:24
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