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Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 13th May 2002.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with (a) the UN and (b) other Governments on a role for international forces in peacekeeping between Israelis and Palestinians.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

My right hon. the Foreign Secretary is in constant contact with his US and European counterparts about the middle east peace process. He also has regular contact with the UN Secretary General and the parties. These discussions cover the full range of issues including the role of the international community in helping Israel and the Palestinian Authority achieve a ceasefire and the resumption of negotiations.

There is broad international consensus that an international peacekeeping operation cannot work without the agreement of both parties; a ceasefire to maintain; and a parallel political process. These do not now exist, so the immediate priority must be to help rebuild confidence and create such conditions for progress.

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