Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt reiterated the UK’s commitment to Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts to secure a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, during a four day visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Mr Burt met Israel’s Minister for Justice and Chief Negotiator, Tzipi Livni, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s peace envoy, Yitzhak Molho as well as the Minister for Strategic Affairs, Yuval Steinitz. The meetings covered a range of issues, including the peace process, regional security concerns and the UK-Israel bilateral relationship. Mr Burt also emphasised the UK’s understanding of Israel’s unique security needs.
The Minister also launched a football coexistence project in Jerusalem with the Chairman of the English Football Association, David Bernstein. The Minister later met with nine UK organisations at a major biomed exhibition in Tel Aviv. Mr Burt also visited an ultraorthodox Yeshiva, and held a meeting with the Rabbi of Belz at his residence. Today, the Minister visited Netiv Hasara, where he met community leaders and families affected by rocket fire from Gaza.
Speaking from Israel, Minister Burt said:
“It is always a pleasure to visit Israel. During meetings yesterday, including with Israel’s Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni, I reiterated the UK’s strong commitment to US led efforts to re-launch the peace process. Time is running out for a two state solution. The UK wants to see a secure and universally recognised Israel living side by side in peace with a viable State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as a shared capital.”
“The UK and Israel are close friends and allies, and we appreciate the unique security challenges that Israel faces. Visiting families today in Netiv Hasara, I again saw at first hand the devastating impact of continuing rocket attacks from Gaza. It’s vital that both sides take the opportunity to support Secretary of State Kerry’s efforts to secure a real and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians.”