UK Foreign Secretary Speaks out on Next Steps in the Region

This October, British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett wrote a piece for Gulf News highlighting UK involvement in, and commitment to, finding a lasting two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli crisis. This commitment includes her trip to New York this August to push for urgent UN action in response to this summer’s violence in Lebanon. 

She rightly points out that “Progress towards a just and comprehensive peace represents the key to tackling so many of the complex challenges facing the whole Middle East,” and she advocates a “negotiated settlement” between Israelis and Palestinians toward that end.  She is also correct in her assessment that ongoing violence and the concurrent lack of progress only serve to exacerbate hostilities between the parties involved.

Beckett lays out the UK’s involvement in this issue, including numerous visits to the region and financial assistance provided directly to the Palestinian people.  She also notes their work to strengthen government institutions and the Palestinian economy in order to “strengthen the Palestinians’ hand in negotiations on the nature of that Palestinian state.”  She likewise contends that the chance for real progress would be greatly aided if the international community could work with a Palestinian state that renounced violence, recognized Israel, and accepted earlier agreements.

Beckett concludes not by offering silver bullet solutions but by stressing that “the path to peace can require painful compromises on both sides,” compromises which are far exceeded in value by the dividends of a lasting peace.  Her full article may be found here.

Explore posts in the same categories: Israel, Middle East, Middle East Peace, Palestinians, Two State Solution

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