Reuters / September 11, 2023
LONDON – British foreign minister James Cleverly will travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories this week, where he will press for renewed dialogue on a two-state solution and commit to tackling threats to regional security, including from Iran.
On the visit that begins on Monday, Cleverly will hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.
In a speech at an international security conference on Tuesday, Cleverly will discuss the security challenges facing Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as the importance of a two-state solution.
He will accuse Iran of “enabling terrorism” through its support of the militant groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, according to a statement.
“The UK and Israel work closely together to keep our people safe,” Cleverly said ahead of his trip. He pledged “to renew our close security partnership, in the face of unacceptable threats from the Iranian regime”.
He will hold talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and attend a demonstration of Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defence system.
During a visit to the Palestinian territories, Cleverly will visit the Jalazone refugee camp in the West Bank to see Palestinian refugees.
Violence in the West Bank has worsened over the past year with frequent Israeli raids and Palestinian street attacks.
Prospects of reviving U.S.-brokered peace talks that aimed to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem remain low almost a decade after their collapse.
The Palestinians have limited self-rule in the West Bank and remain split between a Western-backed administration and armed Hamas Islamists who reject coexistence with Israel. Many in Israel’s current government reject Palestinian statehood.
Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Edmund Blair