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Middle East Peace Process — Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 4th May 2011.

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Photo of Lord Triesman Lord Triesman Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 8:15 pm, 4th May 2011

My Lords, given the time that I have, I am going to have to restate a position. The conditions for peace require a major development in good faith on all sides. Good faith in the pursuit of peace imposes a clear duty. Any progress cannot be destroyed by either party by taking steps or striking positions which they know in advance are abhorrent to the other.

The quartet, which we support, has set out what must be pursued actively, in good faith and in a climate of restraint. Israel should desist from expansion, from building illegally on Palestinian land and from making it ever less possible to create a viable Palestinian state. The question inevitably will arise about the sincerity of a desire for a two-state solution when that two-state solution becomes more difficult by the day in the financial, economic and other arrangements.

An equally plain and equally great impediment is the routine and continuous firing of sophisticated rockets and other munitions into Israel, which undermines confidence among ordinary people that a peaceful solution is possible. The refusal to recognise the right to exist of the Israeli state, not least by Hamas-whatever the noble Baroness may have said at the beginning-speaks to a long-term resistance to peace and that cannot be ignored. In terms of recognition, we also welcome the extension of the diplomatic status of Palestinian entities.

Two viable states, respect for life, respect for law including international law, and recognition of legitimate states and their right to exist are the foundations of what will strike an honourable peace.