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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to arrive in Jerusalem on Tuesday to begin work as the "Quartet" special envoy to the region. Blair has taken upon himself to establish Palestinian institutions as a basis for the future Palestinian state.

Blair's mission will be officially launched at a meeting with Quartet ministers in Lisbon on Thursday.

Blair said he would stay in the region for one week every month. He has appointed as his chief of staff Nick Banner, who worked with Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Blair's foreign policy adviser in Downing Street. He intends to add staff members from the USAID agency, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

A suitable building for Blair's office in Jerusalem has not yet been found due to high real estate prices.