Mark leads Adjournment Debate on Palestine

(December 12, 2012)

Mark led an Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons on the new political situation in Israel and Palestine after the United Nations voted to upgrade Palestine to a non -member observer status.

Mark led the debate and later questioned Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds as to whether the upgrading in Palestines status will affect the Governments policy in the region and what benefits this will have for Palestinian people and in trying to find peace in the region.

Below is a short excerpt of Mark's speech, to read the full debate please follow this link

"The vote should be welcomed as a symbolic milestone in Palestine’s ambition for statehood, rather than as “unfortunate and counter-productive”, as the US Secretary of State has chosen to describe it. Enhanced UN status brings Palestine closer to the international community, its organisations and values. The Palestinians can now take part in UN debates and potentially join bodies such as the International Criminal Court.

By abstaining in the vote, Britain has made itself less relevant to meaningful engagement in the search for peace. As my right hon. Friend Mr Alexander warned the Foreign Secretary before the vote:

“Abstention tomorrow would be an abdication of Britain’s responsibilities.”—[Hansard, 28 November 2012; Vol. 554, c. 231.]

The UK did not stand on the side of progress but instead chose the politically expedient option. I would be interested to know what the Minister believes was achieved by the UK abstaining from the vote and how that strengthens the goal of a two-state solution."

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