Dominic Raab to push for ‘new dialogue’ between Israeli and Palestinian leaders

Dominic Raab to push for 'new dialogue' between Israeli and Palestinian leaders

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The Foreign Secretary will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week, visit a visit to the region where he is expected to “press for new dialogue” between both sides.

Dominic Raab is set to meet Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, on his two-day visit to the region.

This month Israel agreed to halt its planned annexation of parts of the West Bank, and established diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the first time.

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Speaking ahead of his visit Mr Raab said: “The UK remains committed to Israel’s security and stability, and the recent normalisation of relations between Israel and the UAE was an important moment for the region.

“Israel’s suspension of annexation is an essential step towards a more peaceful Middle East.

“It is important to build on this new dynamic, and ultimately only the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority can negotiate the two-state solution required to secure lasting peace.”

Mr Raab’s visit follows on today from his US counterpart Mike Pompeo, who praised the US-brokered deal as the start of an expansion of diplomatic relations.

“I’m very hopeful that we will see other Arab nations join in this,” said Mr Pompeo.

Mr Netanyahu meanwhile hailed the Israel-UAE agreement as “a boon to peace and regional stability”, claiming it “heralds a new era where we could have other nations join”.

“I hope we’ll have good news in the future, maybe in the near future,” he said.

A statement from the British embassy in Israel said that Mr Raab would “will reaffirm UK opposition to annexation — which is illegal under international law”.

He is also expected to “call on the Palestinians to resume cooperation with Israel and pursue direct negotiations, as a step towards a negotiated two-state solution and a viable, sovereign Palestinian state”.

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