U.K. to Washington: Take more active role on peace agreement for the Mideast

British FM William Hague warns the White House that now may be the ‘final chance’ for a 2-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

By Reuters


British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Sunday urged the United States to take a more active role in seeking a lasting settlement between Israelis and Palestinians, warning of a “final chance” for a two-state solution.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama and Mahmoud Abbas in 2010. The deal with Lieberman, who calls Abbas


Eight days of fighting between Israel and Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled enclave of Gaza diverted U.S. President Barack Obama’s attention to the Middle East as he toured Asia on his first trip abroad after this month’s election.

Hague told the BBC it was “time for a huge effort on the Middle East peace process”.

“This is what I have been calling for, particularly calling for the United States now after their election to show the necessary leadership on this over the coming months, because they have crucial leverage with Israel and no other country has,” Hague said.

“We’re coming to the final chance maybe for a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton broke off from Obama’s tour of Asia to help negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas to end this month’s bout of violence.

Recent U.S. efforts to coax the Palestinians and Israelis back into negotiations to agree on a long-term peace have failed, and talks are set to become even more fraught if the Palestinians succeed in securing recognition as an “observer state”.

A vote on the diplomatic upgrade could take place later this month at the UN General Assembly, and if successful would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood. Israel and the United States oppose the move and call for a return to talks.

The last direct negotiations between Israel and Palestinian leaders in the West Bank broke down in 2010 over the issue of Jewish settlement building across the territory.

Britain has also been pushing the United States, a close ally, to take a bigger role in helping to end the conflict in Syria, with Prime Minister David Cameron calling for greater engagement within hours of Obama’s re-election.


View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-k-to-u-s-take-more-active-role-on-mideast-peace-1.480447