Egypt uprising 'should jolt Middle East foes'

The ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should "jolt" Israelis and Palestinians to get round the negotiating table in a renewed bid to find a Middle East peace settlement, Foreign Secretary William Hague has said.

Mr Hague acknowledged that events in Egypt and Tunisia, where President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has also been forced out in a popular uprising, could complicate the search for a peace deal.



However, he warned that time was running out for an agreement based on a two-state solution as Israeli settlements continued to encroach into occupied Palestinian territories.



Israel in particular had seen Mr Mubarak as a stabilising force in the region, acting as the guarantor for the past 30 years of the historic Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.



The Armed Forces Supreme Council, which has taken power in Cairo following Mr Mubarak's dramatic resignation, has vowed to continue to honour Egypt's international obligations - including the country's 1979 peace treaty with Israel.



Appearing on state television yesterday, a senior military officer said that the military was "looking forward to a peaceful transition, for a free democratic system, to permit an elected civil authority to be in charge of the country, to build a democratic free nation".



President Barack Obama welcomed the military's commitments to eventually hand power to an elected civilian government and keep the Isreal treaty intact.



He also pledged US assistance and financial support as the Arab country moves toward free and fair elections.



Thousands of supporters packed into London's Trafalgar Square yesterday to celebrate Mr Mubarak's departure and demonstrate their solidarity with the protesters in Egypt who forced him out.



Mr Hague insisted that the Israelis should not fear the rise of democracy in the Arab world and he called on them to join the Palestinians in a return to the direct talks which broke off last September.



"What we should be afraid of here is not democracy but uncertainty and instability that can make national leaders more cautious and say that we are only going to deal with one thing at a time," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.



"Perhaps one of the good things that might come from events in Egypt and Tunisia is that policymakers in Israel and among Palestinians will be jolted to see that it is vital now to take this forward because in a few years time a two-state solution will be much, much more difficult to achieve.



"There is some life in it but it is on life support and it will not live for many more years. The Israelis are making settlements in occupied territory steadily changing the nature of the area and there is a growing weariness about the whole approach to the two-state solution. But it is still very much the best solution.



"It is vital both to Israel's long-term security and to any hope of a viable Palestinian state for both of them to make the necessary compromises.



"Sadly in recent months, neither have been ready to do so and I hope that these events will jolt them into that rather than make them more cautious about doing so."



The Amnesty rally in Trafalgar Square - one of 46 held in 16 countries - was organised before Mr Mubarak resigned and had been planned to increase the international pressure change.



Salil Shetty, Amnesty's secretary general, told the crowd: "We want to send a resounding message from Trafalgar Square to Tahrir Square that we are in solidarity with the people of Egypt."

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star