Palestinians: International Assistance

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered at on 6 September 2010.

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Photo of Stephen Williams Stephen Williams Liberal Democrat, Bristol West

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on restoring the customs code for Gaza.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The UK has an ongoing dialogue with the Government of Israel at both ministerial and official level covering a wide range of issues including Gaza.

We, together with the EU and Quartet, have called on Israel to ease restrictions on access. It is imperative that all parties now work together urgently to deliver real change on the ground. This will mean building capacity at the crossings, getting vital reconstruction projects up and running and ensuring that Gazans can export as well as import goods.

We have not had specific discussions on a customs code for Gaza. However, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has underlined the important role the Palestinian economy, whether in Gaza or on the West Bank, will play in contributing towards a viable Palestinian state living alongside Israel in peace and security.

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