Recognise Palestine “immediately”, government urged

Peers have called on the government to formally recognise the state of Palestine.

The recent reconciliation deal announced between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas offered the perfect opportunity fort the UK to help Israel to “work genuinely for a two state solution”, former head of the diplomatic service Lord Wright of Richmond told peers.

“This is the time to support Palestine as a state” the Crossbencher said during the oral questions session on 16 June 2014.

This recognition must happen “immediately”, if the government was to stick to its Queen’s Speech pledge to base foreign policy on “respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law”, independent Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Tonge told the house.

Responding to the comments, Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi said that the government was still committed to securing a two state solution.

The government “reserved the right” to recognise Palestine as a state at the “moment when it best brings about peace” the conservative peer said.

And she added, “the two state solution is the only way to resolve the conflict once and for all” she told peers.

Last week Israel’s parliament chose Reuven Rivlin as the country’s next president, putting a man opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state into the ceremonial but influential post.

Mr Rivlin supports the creation of a union with Palestinians in Israel, in which Jews and Arabs would hold common citizenship but vote for separate parliaments.

The full debate can be seen via the BBC link here:

16th June 2014,