The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 1 November 2023.
Lord Ahmad will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Israel and the West Bank over the next 2 days to discuss the crisis in the Middle East.
- Lord Ahmad set to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Israel and the West Bank over the next 2 days to discuss the crisis in the Middle East
- he will advocate for immediate humanitarian pauses to help aid reach Gaza, for British nationals to leave Gaza, and steps towards a political resolution which provides justice and security to both Israelis and Palestinians
- visit follows announcement that the UK will provide an additional £30 million in humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza
Minister for the Middle East, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, is travelling to Israel and the West Bank as a part of the UK’s diplomatic efforts to get aid into Gaza, secure the release of hostages, recognise Israel’s security concerns and prevent regional escalation.
The UK continues close work with partners and allies in the region to ensure vital lifesaving aid, including food, water, fuel and medical supplies, reaches Gaza as fast as possible. Lord Ahmad will stress this point in his engagements with Israeli leaders, including advocating for an immediate humanitarian pause to allow aid to enter and for steps towards allowing British nationals to leave Gaza as soon as possible.
Lord Ahmad will also be discussing with leaders from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories efforts to prevent regional escalation and move closer towards achieving a two-state solution, as part of a political resolution which provides justice and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.
Lord Ahmad said:
I am travelling to the Middle East to further efforts to get lifesaving aid into Gaza, to help ensure British nationals can leave Gaza and prevent regional escalation.
We need a collective effort to get aid into Gaza as quickly as possible – including food, water, fuel and medical supplies. The UK has contributed another £30 million in aid to this end and I’ll be discussing what more action must be taken.
I will raise with Israeli and Palestinian leaders the urgent need to avoid regional escalation following Hamas’s terrorist attack and push for a two-state solution as part of a political resolution to this conflict, which provides justice and security for Israelis and Palestinians.
The minister’s visit comes off the back of a raft of senior diplomatic engagement. On 20 October the Prime Minister visited Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to speak with the Prime Minister Netanyahu, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman, the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.
The Foreign Secretary was in the United Arab Emirates on Monday for discussions on the crisis, following recent talks in Egypt, Turkey and Qatar, and calls with his Egyptian and Israeli counterparts over the weekend. He was also the first Foreign Minister to visit communities affected by Hamas’ terror attack in the south of Israel.
The UK’s diplomatic efforts are supported by an additional £30 million of humanitarian aid to the Occupied Palestinian Territories – more than doubling our existing aid commitment for this year (£27 million). The funding will include support to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) in responding to critical food, water, health, shelter and security needs in Gaza.