‘British Government must recognise Palestine’ – Ritchie

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Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has urged the UK government to recognise the state of Palestine during Foreign Office questions in the House of Commons. Speaking from Westminster Ritchie stated, “The UK government should be taking a more proactive role in welcoming Palestine statehood, especially at a time when it is very easy to foresee another violent conflict emerging in the region. “The recognition of Palestine as an independent state, as backed by a recent vote in the House of Commons, would send a clear signal and pave the way for further progress and a more even engagement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. “The UK government’s current default setting of hesitation and delay is not a strategy but an exercise in avoidance. They claim that they are waiting for the right conditions but give absolutely no indication of what those conditions might be. As soon as one condition is met no doubt another will emerge to replace it. “As it stands the UK’s position hands an effective veto to the Israeli government on what should be an independent, sovereign decision,” she insisted. “Today we can see the damage that is being done to the talks between the US and Iran by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s intervention in Washington and this should be a lesson to the British government. “A move towards recognising the state of Palestine could, as part of a wider process, start to create the impetus for a new level of discussions between Israel and Palestine. Ritchie added, “Meanwhile the region is faced with uncertainty and the potential escalation into another conflict. The people of Palestine should not be left in limbo, awaiting another barrage and the tragedy that will inevitably follow.”
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