​Tony Blair’s ex-private secretary becomes Britain’s ambassador to Israel

Tony Blair (Reuters / Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Tony Blair (Reuters / Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Britain’s newly appointed ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, served as Tony Blair’s private secretary from 2004 to 2006. His appointment has sparked controversy as critics consider his foreign policy legacy.

Quarry worked as a private assistant to Tony Blair during the
ex-Labour chief’s decade-long premiership. He subsequently became
head of the Foreign Office’s Middle East and North Africa

At one time, Tony Blair was one of Britain’s most popular prime
ministers. But in the wake of damning allegations concerning
Britain’s eight-year war in Iraq, the former PMandMiddle East
peace envoy – is reviled by many in Britain.

Opponents of Blair warn he is abusing his role as envoy, forging
liaisons with dubious regimes and opening himself up to murky
financial channels in the process.

The ex-PM, who works as a highly-paid consultant to various
authoritarian governments in the Middle East, is also the subject
of a public inquiry into the legality of the Iraq war.

Blair continues to defend his administration’s Middle East
policies. His critics, however, maintain his administration
blackened Britain’s foreign policy legacy, and hold him
responsible for the current crisis in Iraq.

Currently Britain’s top advisor on Middle East policy, Quarrey is
set to begin his role as UK ambassador to Israel in July. He will
replace Matthew Gould.

Gould was the first British-Jewish diplomat to take on the
position, based in Tel Aviv since 2010. Speaking at a fundraising
dinner in central London on Monday, Gould said he will miss the

He stressed that Britain’s Jewish community has been a great
support to Israel in difficult times, and is a pillar of
UK-Israeli relations.

Quarrey has worked for the Foreign Office for more than two
decades and has joined UK missions at the United Nations (UN) in
New Delhi, New York, and Harare.

Following his appointment on Tuesday, he said he looks forward to
deepening UK-Israeli economic relations, and working with Israel
against common security threats.

In 2013, Britain’s Foreign Affairs Council decided to lift its
arms embargo on Syria with Quarrey’s full backing.

The Council’s decision bred criticism from anti-war campaigners
who warned the policy shift was dangerous given the volatile
situation in Syria.

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