Israeli news reports mentioned that representatives of the Quartet Committee members will meet next Tuesday in New York to discuss the mediation the Committee is doing in the Middle East, in addition to the feasibility of the Road Map peace plan following the victory of Hamas movement in the latest parliamentary elections.
The Israeli Haaretz Newspaper said on its website that the members of the Quartet (United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia) have expressed their doubts over the usefulness of interfering in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially after the victory of Ehud Olmert in the Israeli elections, and his declaration of taking unilateral steps, as well as the victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections and forming the government.
Haaretz quoted a Western diplomat as saying that the Quartet will discuss the feasibility of continuing its political efforts in case the conditions that forced their representative in the region, James Wolfensohn, to resign from his post.
The diplomat added that the Committee should discuss a new form of mediation that conform with the new facts on the ground, in case it wished to appoint a new representative.
The special representative of the Quartet Wolfensohn has announced that he resigned from his post, adding that the Hamas-led government and the restrictions imposed on it by the world has not allowed him to carry out his tasks properly.
Wolfensohn added, following talks with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday, that "the political development that happened in the past two or three months have made problem solving from now on larger than my abilities."
On her part, Rice said that the Quartet has accepted Wolfensohn’s resignation, but noted that the international committee might require his services when the circumstances are more favorable.
In his final report to the Quartet, Wolfensohn harshly criticized the decision of Western countries to suspend financial aid to the Palestinian government, saying that the United Nations and Non-Governmental Organizations cannot fill the gap in case the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) collapsed under Western pressure.
In a joint press conference with Rice, the former representative pointed out that it would be wrong for the West to starve the Palestinian people to force them to support the peace process. "I don’t believe that there is anyone within the Quartet who thinks that political action should be taken, even if it seemed so sometimes… I believe it is a lost wager," he added.
Wolfensohn’s mandate by the Quartet as a special representative for the Israeli withdrawal was supposed to end by September 2005, but it was renewed to the end of March, then to the end of April 2006 based on the developments on the ground.
Over the past few weeks, Wolfensohn has expressed his displeasure several times for not receiving the appropriate support from the Quartet, and threatened to resign from his post.