Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Abbas, Hague meet on Middle East peace process

Updated: 2011-03-09 17:17


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Abbas, Hague meet on Middle East peace process
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague (L) speaks during a news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in central London March 8, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 

LONDON -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Tuesday discussed the Middle East peace process with visiting Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in London.

Speaking after the meeting, Hague said: "We have had important discussions about the peace process, our bilateral relations and the situation in the region."

He said: "The British government's message today is that the Peace Process must not become a casualty of uncertainty in the region."

"It is too important to be allowed to fail or falter. Instead, efforts must be redoubled to move the Peace Process forward," he added.

The British government believes that the parties must recommit themselves to negotiations as soon as possible, to do so on the basis of clear principles with international support, and to strive for a breakthrough this year.

Hague also called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to seize the moment for a historic peace agreement to match the historic changes in the region, and to provide the lasting peace and security that both peoples deserve.

Britain is ready to do all it can to support this endeavor, to make the case for peace and to put forward ideas and proposals to help overcome the obstacles, but above all to support the parties as they take the bold steps that are undoubtedly needed, he said.

In addition, Hague announced that Britain would join many other nations in upgrading the status of the Palestinian Delegation to London to the level of a Mission. There will also be simplified visa arrangements for members of the mission and other administrative benefits.

He said: "We welcome this positive step in our relations, along with the President's long-standing commitment to a two-state solution."


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