James Cleverly urges Palestinians to make counteroffer to Trump’s peace plan
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James Cleverly urges Palestinians to make counteroffer to Trump’s peace plan

Middle East minister calls on the PA to negotiate harder with the US President who is 'someone that likes to make a deal'

James Cleverly
James Cleverly

The UK has urged the Palestinian authorities to make a counteroffer to Donald Trump’s peace plan.

The US president’s plan for a solution to the Israel/Palestinian conflict would foresee the eventual creation of a Palestinian state but it falls far short of Palestinian demands and would leave sizeable chunks of the occupied West Bank in Israeli hands.

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly said the UK position “has not changed” but he urged Palestinian leaders to engage with President Trump and submit a counteroffer as he is “someone that likes to make a deal”.

During a Commons debate on Palestine, Mr Cleverly said: “We desire a stable, secure and peaceful two-state solution.

“A thriving Israel next door to a thriving Palestine based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as a shared capital of both states, with fair, agreed and realistic settlements for refugees and we continue to believe a two-state solution is the only viable long-term solution for the area.”

He added: “There is an opportunity now and we have encouraged the Palestine Authority to engage with Israel and the United States, with its Arab neighbours and friends, with the UK to put an offer, a counteroffer on the table.

“We know that President Trump is someone that likes to make a deal and we strongly, strongly urge our friends in the region to take him up.”

Conservative Friends of Israel’s Parliamentary Chairman, Stephen Crabb, responded to the minister saying that “the signing of peace agreements between the Governments of Bahrain and the UAE and Israel is an enormous step forward for peace for the whole region”

“The intransigence and refusal to engage on the part of the Palestinian leadership is a huge roadblock to progress in the region”.

He added that “It requires our Government to put more pressure on the Palestinian leadership to root out the school textbooks that glorify violence and incite hatred, to abandon the language of conflict and confrontation and to seize opportunities for peace”.

Meanwhile, MP Christian Wakeford told the Commons that: “The implication that Jews praying at their holiest sites are doing so illegally is deeply troubling to me and to the Jewish community”.

Damien Moore, MP for Southpor claimed it was “misleading to argue that the settlements are the primary reason for the continuation of the conflict.

“Violence against Jews in the region had been taking place even before the state’s establishment in 1948”.

 

 

 

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