British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was due to meet Wednesday with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on a one-day visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Foreign Office said on Tuesday, aiming to bolster the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza after the worst outbreak of fighting in years.
Raab was to hold talks on Wednesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz in Jerusalem, as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah.
“The events of the last month demonstrate the urgent need to make genuine progress towards a more positive future for both Israelis and Palestinians...,” Raab said in a statement.
“The UK supports a two-state solution as the best way to deliver a lasting peace.”
Meeting with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Raab reiterated Britain's commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
"Reiterated the (UK's) commitment to a two-state solution, the importance of a stronger nuclear deal with Iran & our commitment to Israel's security in my meeting with @Gabi_Ashkenazi," Raab said on Twitter.
"Vital we make progress towards a more positive future for Israelis and Palestinians."
Raab's visit comes on the heels of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who Tuesday pledged that Washington would provide new aid to help rebuild Gaza as part of efforts to bolster a ceasefire between its Islamist Hamas rulers and Israel.
Speaking alongside Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Blinken guaranteed that the U.S. will ensure that any aid for Gaza will be kept out of Hamas' hands.
Following a meeting with Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the top American diplomat announced that the U.S. will be reopening its Consulate General in Jerusalem — a move that restores ties with the Palestinians that had been downgraded by the Trump administration.
In addition, Blinken said that the Biden administration will ask the U.S. Congress for $75 million in development and economic assistance for Palestinians along with providing $5.5 million in immediate disaster assistance for Gaza and $32 million to United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
First published: 09:35 , 05.26.21