The United Kingdom is ready to soon formally recognise a Palestinian State as part of efforts for an “irreversible” peace resolution in the region, the British Foreign Secretary has announced.
Speaking at a reception for the Conservative Middle East Council at Westminster yesterday, Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, stated that “We have a responsibility there because we should be starting to set out what a Palestinian State would look like, what it would comprise, how it would work.”
He revealed that “as that happens, we, with allies, will look at the issue of recognising a Palestinian State, including at the United Nations.”. London’s formal recognition of Palestinian statehood, he said, “could be one of the things that helps to make this process irreversible.”
Although the UK has long supported a two-state solution as its foreign policy stance in regard to the Israeli-Palestinians conflict, the government’s reported push to recognise Palestinian statehood comes amid the ongoing severity of Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, as well as the increasing deterioration in opportunities to establish a Palestinian State due to the Israel’s tightening Occupation and the growth of settlers and settlements in the Occupied Territories.
Cameron also criticised Israel for not being able to provide adequate security – presumably through political means – to its citizens over the past 30 years, since the signing of the Oslo Accords, which were meant to secure peace. “If the last 30 years tells us anything, it is a story of failure,” he said. “Ultimately it is a story of failure for Israel because, yes, they had a growing economy, yes, they had rising living standards, yes, they invested in defence and security and walls and the rest of it, but they couldn’t provide what a state most wants, what every family wants, which is security.”
In the path to statehood, the Foreign Secretary said, a new Palestinian authority or government should be “stood up quickly” with “technocratic and good leaders” in order to govern Gaza. “Together with that, almost most important of all, is to give the Palestinian people a political horizon so that they can see that there is going to be irreversible progress to a two-state solution and crucially the establishment of a Palestinian state.”
Since Cameron’s announcement, some have criticised him as being insincere on the matter due to the perception that he did not make significant efforts to recognise Palestinian statehood during his time as prime minister of the UK between 2010 and 2016.
According to the former premier, however, the conflict in Gaza and the international calls for a ceasefire presents a new opportunity for the establishment of a Palestinian State and a long-term peace resolution.
“There is a path that we can now see opening up where we really can make progress, not just in ending the conflict, but progress in finding a political solution that can mean peace for years, rather than peace for months,” he said. There must be a pause in the conflict in Gaza, he reiterated, which could then apparently turn into a sustainable ceasefire without a return to the fighting.
“That is the prize we should be looking for and, more than that, not just how you go from pause to sustainable ceasefire, but how you go from there to a set of political moves and arrangements that could start to deliver the longer term political solution,” the Foreign Secretary emphasised.