UK Labour Leader calls on PM to back Palestinian state, stop expansion of Israeli settlements

London(QNN)- UK Labour leader Keir Starmer has called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to press for the recognition of a Palestinian state and to stop expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

At this weekend’s G7 summit in Cornwall, speaking during Prime Minister’s Question Time on Wednesday, Starmer said, “The appalling violence recently which killed 63 children in Gaza and two children in Israel shows just how urgent this is.”

Starmer said that for too Palestinian people the “promise of an end to the occupation and the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state feels more distant than ever.”

He continued,“So will the prime minister take the opportunity this weekend to press for renewed agreement to finally recognise a state of Palestine and to stop expansion of illegal settlements and to get a meaningful peace process back and running.”

Starmer pointed out Johnson’s upcoming bilateral talks with US President Joe Biden and the “possibility of a new government in Israel” provided a “real chance” to restart talks.

Starmer’s remarks came as he has faced criticism for his stance on Palestine.

Last month, he was rebuked by several Labour members for what they saw as tardy and bland responses by the party to Israeli moves to expel Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, subsequent Israeli aggression at al-Aqsa Mosque and Israeli aggression of Gaza, which killed more than 250 Palestinians.

Responding to the Labour leader’s question, Johnson said the government’s position on the Middle East continues to support a two-state solution.

“It’s been a long-standing objective of this government, and I think it’s common ground across this House, that the solution for the Middle East peace process is a two-state solution and we continue to press for that.”

“I’ve made that position plain both in my conversations with the Palestinian Authority and of course with Israel,” Johnson added.

(Source / 10.06.2021)

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