My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall repeat in the form of a Statement the Answer given by the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa to an Urgent Question in another place. The Statement is as follows:
“As the Foreign Secretary made clear in the Statement on Tuesday, the Government welcome the release of the United States proposal for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It clearly reflects extensive investment in time and effort. A peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that leads to peaceful coexistence 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 proposals can meet the needs and aspirations of the people they represent. We encourage them to give these latest plans genuine and fair consideration and explore whether they might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations.
The United Kingdom’s position has not changed. Our view remains that the best way to achieve peace is through substantive peace talks between parties, leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on the 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 a dialogue creates a vacuum, which fuels instability.”