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Middle East

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Lynne Jones Lynne Jones Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the failure of the proposed UN fact-finding mission to Jenin on the future avoidance of conflict in the middle east.

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

We regret the failure of the Israeli Government to co-operate with the UN to allow the deployment of the fact-finding team. The UN General Assembly has nevertheless asked the Secretary-General to present a report on the recent events that took place in Jenin and in other Palestinian cities. We look forward to this.

As the Secretary-General has said, there is a long shadow cast by events in Jenin but this should not be allowed to derail other peace efforts. The agreements to resolve the crises in Bethlehem and Ramallah are examples of practical international support which have led to progress. The international community is committed to working with the parties to build on these initiatives. The priority remains to implement recent UN Security Council Resolutions, establish a ceasefire and resume negotiations.

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