Former Tory minister calls on government to recognise Palestine

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Former Tory minister calls on government to recognise Palestine

'With Israel receiving recognition across the Arab world, the two-state talks would enjoy a fairer wind if the parties negotiating were sovereign entities', the MP told the Commons

David Jones speaking in the Commons during the debate
David Jones speaking in the Commons during the debate

A Tory former minister has called on the UK to recognise Palestine as a sovereign entity to progress two-state solution talks.

David Jones, the former Brexit minister, made his remarks in the Commons during a debate on the Middle East, after minister James Cleverly urged Palestinian leaders to renegotiate President Trump’s proposed peace plan.

He told MPs: “This House has already voted in 2014 to recognise Palestine’s statehood and I would suggest that now is the time for the British Government to confirm that recognition.

“With Israel receiving its own recognition across the Arab world, the two-state talks would enjoy a fairer wind if the parties negotiating were sovereign entities, recognised by leading nations such as the United Kingdom with global influence.

“The position of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has consistently been that British recognition of Palestine statehood will come when it best serves the objective of peace. That time is now.”

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokeswoman Layla Moran, the first MP of dual UK-Palestinian heritage, responded: “There is no-one more than me and my family and my cousins and my aunts and uncles back home who want peace.

Layla Moran on the campaign trail

“We want peace. Of course, we want peace. Hamas does not speak for me. I stand here as a friend of Israel, as much as I am a daughter of Palestine.

“To those who suggest that this in some way is a weird thing for a Palestinian to say, most Palestinians I know, actually scrap that, all Palestinians I know recognise Israel.

“All Palestinians I know want peace and this isn’t some kind of black and white situation. That’s where we want to get to.”

Earlier in the debate, Labour MP Stephen Kinnock called on the government to ban all settlement goods.

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