Britain 'sabotaging Middle East peace process to please Donald Trump'

European and Palestinian diplomats have been heavily critical of Boris Johnson's blocking of a resolution on a two-state solution

Tom Peck
Tuesday 17 January 2017 10:49
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The Foreign Secretary's actions have been denounced as an attempt to please Donald Trump
The Foreign Secretary's actions have been denounced as an attempt to please Donald Trump

The UK government has been heavily criticised by European and Palestinian officials for what they see as a British ditching of decades old policy towards the Middle East in order to please Donald Trump.

On Monday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson blocked the the EU’s foreign affairs council from passing a resolution in favour of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"The UK is changing a 20-year policy on the Middle East and settlements for the sake of a good trade deal with Donald Trump," a European diplomat told The Financial Times. "They're basically changing 20 years of international consensus."

In his interview with The Times Donald Trump said he would like to see the UK exercise their UN security council veto on resolutions that are critical of Israel. In December, the Obama administration abstained on a resolution calling Israeli settlements illegal that was in the end, carried, a decision Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called "shameful".

Mohammad Shtayyeh, a senior Palestinian official and adviser to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas said: “Obviously, the British government is using this [issue] as a bridge with Trump, and I think this is really not appropriate.”

The resolution vetoed by Mr Johnson had been agreed at a conference at the weekend in Paris attended by representatives at more than seventy countries. The UK did not take part.

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