Foreign Secretary pressed on Gaza

Mike Gapes pressed Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday on the situation in Gaza and called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the implications of the rejection of its resolution 1860 .

Here is their exchange.

Mike Gapes (Ilford, South) (Lab/Co-op): Unilateralism is not enough. Does the Foreign Secretary agree that however welcome these temporary ceasefires, they do not necessarily mean that there will be a long-term solution? Will he urgently discuss with his colleagues in the Security Council the implications of the rejection of its resolution 1860 by both Israel and Hamas 10 days ago? Will he try to ensure that if we do get a longer-term ceasefire, it is on a permanent basis? Does he not think that it is necessary to engage with Hamas to secure that?

David Miliband: I admire my hon. Friend’s ingenuity in asking those questions. Of course, he is right to say that the focus must be on making a permanent peace. That is certainly what we are focused on, in terms of not only the immediate issues relating to what remains a dangerously fragile ceasefire, but the longer-term issues. We are, of course, in touch with all our Security Council counterparts; a discussion took place last week and there will doubtless be further discussions in future. We will have to think through precisely the sort of discussion that he describes, given that our immediate focus is on the situation on the ground, but I hear what he has had to say.

posted 20 January 2009


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