LONDON: Britain on Friday renewed its commitment “to working to help advance a negotiated two-state solution that delivers peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.”
In one of his first meetings with an Arab representative since being appointed as the UK’s joint minister of state in the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development, James Cleverly met with the head of the Palestinian Mission in the UK, Husam Zomlot.
“Post-Brexit Britain has become a much more relevant actor for peace-making in the Middle East, in the absence of a US role or contribution because (President Donald) Trump has discredited the situation,” Zomlot told Arab News.
“I consider my first meeting with the minister to be important and strategic, and kneeling toward progress in peace-making in the Middle East and upgrading the growing Palestinian-UK bilateral relations.”
Zomlot said he really “appreciated the opportunity to meet the minister early on in his tenure,” and their strategy is to enhance bilateral relations so the UK can have a bigger role in the Middle East peace process.
“The first meeting was an indication of the significance the UK places on Palestine peace-making, and was a very important first step in engaging with the minister in the very important journey toward achieving progress and achieving these goals,” he added.
Zomlot, who previously headed the Palestinian Mission in Washington, said the Palestinian issue has “become an international priority again,” especially in light of Trump’s proposed Middle East peace plan that was announced in January.
Cleverly, who has close links with the Conservative Friends of Israel group, tweeted that he discussed UK-Palestinian relations and “hopes for Middle East peace” in his meeting with Zomlot.
Several hours later, Cleverly tweeted that he also met Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, and reiterated Britain’s “desire for peace based on a negotiated two state solution, leading to a safe and secure Israel, alongside a sovereign Palestinian state.”