Politics, Middle East, Europe

British premier says two-state solution 'only answer' to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

‘Too many civilians are losing their lives,' and Israel 'must take all possible measures’ to protect them, says Rishi Sunak

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal  | 14.11.2023 - Update : 14.11.2023
British premier says two-state solution 'only answer' to Israeli-Palestinian conflict


British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Monday that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the “only answer that can allow a new future to be born” in the region.

Speaking on the UK’s foreign policy at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, Sunak said “the past is trying to stop the future being born.”

He said that what had motivated the Palestinian group Hamas to launch its Oct. 7 attack on Israel “wasn’t just hatred” but “it was also their fear that a new Middle East was being born…one that would see Israel normalizing relations with its neighbors, and which gave hope for a better, more secure, more prosperous way forward.”

Sunak reiterated that “Israel must be able to defend itself against terror, restore its security and bring the hostages home.”

“But there are things that Israel must do as part of its response,” he said.

“We’ve been clear they (Israel) must act within international law.

“They must take all possible measures to protect innocent civilians, including at hospitals, stop extremist violence in the West Bank and allow more aid into Gaza,” he added.

Sunak said the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, “described to me the terrible suffering of the Palestinian people.”

“Too many civilians are losing their lives.”

He also underlined that that is why the UK has “doubled our aid to Gaza and why we continue to press – both at the UN and directly with Israel – for unhindered humanitarian access and urgent and substantive humanitarian pauses.”

“We want aid coming in by land, air and sea – and we’re ready to use our bases in Cyprus as a staging post,” he said.

“Alleviating the suffering is our foremost priority.”

Sunak also said that a new political horizon should be created for peace.

“We must unite around the only answer that can come close to creating peace in those troubled lands.

“The only answer that can acknowledge the history and hurt of both peoples.

“The only answer that can allow a new future to be born, and that is a two-state solution,” he said

He said the UK has argued for this solution for decades, “but now we must help make it a reality.”

“So to the UK’s friends across the region like Jordan, Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, who support normalization and peaceful co-existence and to our communities at home…I pledge to redouble efforts to this end.”

“That means providing the serious, practical and enduring support needed to bolster the Palestinian Authority, because they are the best route to sweep away the terrible scourge of Hamas and all it has wrought,” he said.

“As hard as it may be, no matter the obstacles, we must put the region on the path to a genuine peace.”

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