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Middle East

House of Lords written question – answered on 13th May 2002.

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Photo of Lord Lamont of Lerwick Lord Lamont of Lerwick Conservative

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the statement by the Leader of the House on 10 April (HL Deb, cols. 430-431) after the Prime Minister's visit to President Bush, and pursuant to his reference to "unlawful" and "illegal" settlements on the West Bank, what is the difference between an "unlawful" and an "illegal" settlement.

Photo of Baroness Amos Baroness Amos Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

There is no difference between an "unlawful" and an "illegal" settlement. The Government's view on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories is clear: they are illegal under international law, they are an obstacle to peace, and their growth should be frozen immediately, as recommended by the Mitchell commitee report which both parties accepted. In the long term, the existence of settlements must be addressed as a central part of the solution to the conflict. Camp David and Taba provide the framework for this process. Rebo

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