Middle East Peace Plan

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:32 am on 30th January 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 10:32 am, 30th January 2020

I thank the right hon. Lady for her urgent question. As the Foreign Secretary made clear in his statement on Tuesday, the Government welcome the release of the proposal by the United States for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, which clearly reflects extensive investment in time and effort. A peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that leads to peaceful co-existence could unlock the potential of the entire region and provide both sides with the opportunity for a brighter future.

Only the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian territories can determine whether the proposals can meet the needs and aspirations of the people they represent. We encourage them to give the latest plan genuine and fair consideration, and to explore whether it might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations. The UK’s position has not changed. Our view remains that the best way to achieve peace is through substantive peace talks between the parties, leading to a safe and secure Israel that lives alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, and a just, fair, agreed and realistic settlement for refugees.

Our first priority now must be to encourage the United States, Israelis, Palestinians and our partners in the international community to find a means of resuming the dialogue necessary for securing a negotiated settlement. The absence of dialogue creates a vacuum, which fuels instability and all that follows from that.