UK’s Minister of State for the Middle East on his first official visit to Palestine

Ahram Online , Wednesday 11 Jan 2023

On his first visit to the region since his appointment as the UK Minister for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations, Lord Tariq Ahmad visits on Wednesday, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and met Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad al-Malki.

Riyad al-Malki and Lord Tariq Ahmad
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad al-Malki meeting with the UK Minister for the Middle East, Lord Tariq Ahmad. Wafa news agency


During a meeting at his Ramallah office, al-Malki briefed Lord Ahmad on the latest developments in Palestine and the daily Israeli killing of Palestinians, abuse of prisoners, arrests, demolition of homes and structures, and the displacement of Palestinian families, Wafa News Agency reported. 

Malki stressed the importance of the international community taking the necessary measures to provide protection for the Palestinian people and to ensure the cessation of Israeli violations against them.

He also confirmed the commitment of the State of Palestine to the two-state solution, and the importance of rebuilding trust between the two sides, hoping for a real partner from the other side to strive towards achieving peace and stability.

For his part, the British minister stressed Britain's firm position on the two-state solution and the importance of reopening channels of dialogue between the two parties to ensure peace and security in the region.

"I stressed our commitment to the Palestinian people & the bilateral relationship, & emphasised our concern at recent violence in the OPTs that fuels instability," Lord Ahmad wrote on his official twitter account

According to statement published by the British government, Lord Ahmad during his visit will meet with key humanitarian partners and announce £3.7m of additional funding to UNRWA to support food assistance to 1.2 million of the most vulnerable Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

Ahead of his visit, Lord Ahmad said, "My visit comes at a difficult but important time for the Palestinian people, and I want to re-emphasise UK support to the Palestinian people and our unwavering commitment to a negotiated two-state solution as the only means of ending this conflict."

Adding, "Visits to various parts of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem will allow me to witness first-hand the challenges facing Palestinians as well as to see the impact of UK funding to some of the most vulnerable." 

Lord Ahmad held also bilateral meetings with the Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, and discussed regional security issues including Iran, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the opportunities presented by the Abraham Accords, said the Foreign office on its website.

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