In the House of Commons this week, Conservative MPs urged the UK Government to assist the Palestinian leadership in becoming a “viable partner for peace with Israel”, and called for the resumption of direct peace talks without preconditions between Israel and the Palestinians.
In Foreign Office questions on Tuesday, Conservative MP for Aberdeen South, Ross Thomson, highlighted that the “biggest current obstacles to the advancement of the Middle East peace process include Hamas’s rearmament drive in Gaza and the long-standing issue of Palestinian incitement”. He asked the Middle East Minister what steps he has taken, “alongside his international counterparts, to assist the Palestinian leadership in becoming a viable partner for peace with Israel”.
In response, Middle East Minister Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP said that “there are many obstacles on the way to peace, and certainly one of them remains incitement among some in the Palestinian community”. He emphasised that “efforts being made for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas have to conclude with a process that has led to acceptance of Quartet principles”.
CFI Officer Chris Davies MP asked the Minister if he agreed that “the only way to resolve the issue of land borders is through the resumption of direct peace talks without preconditions”. Minister Burt agreed, stating that “efforts are continually being made to move forward with the peace process”.
The Minister made clear that “only” the Israelis and Palestinians themselves “can come to the answer they need”.
Read the full exchanges here.