UK was 'closely involved' in drafting UN settlement resolution, British FM says

Le ministre britannique des Affaires étrangères Boris Johnson à Birmingham, le 2 octobre 2016
OLI SCARFF (AFP)
Johnson stressed UK's vote in favor of resolution was not a departure from its support of the Jewish State

The United Kingdom was "closely involved" in the drafting of last month's United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said before parliament on Tuesday.

UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which states that Israeli settlements have "no legal validity" and are "dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution", was passed by a 14-0 vote after a rare and momentous abstention by the United States.

However, Johnson noted, the UK "supported it only because it contained new language pointing out the infamy of terrorism that Israel suffers every day, not least on Sunday, when there was an attack in Jerusalem."

A Palestinian man rammed a truck into troops visiting a popular Jerusalem tourist site Sunday, killing four and injuring 17, in a stark reminder of tensions despite a recent lull in violence.

"I was glad that the resolution identified that aspect of the crisis in the middle east," Johnson said, according to a transcript of the parliament meeting, and added that he agreed with outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry on the "rounded nature of the resolution."

Asked if he believes that the incoming Trump administration might conform to the world view that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories are illegal, the foreign minister replied that "I think it is a widespread view in Washington, and across the UN Security Council, that settlements are illegal, which was why the resolution went through as it did, without any opposition."

He acknowledge, however, that "it is too early to say exactly what the Administration will decide on this matter."

Johnson stressed that the UK's vote in favor of the resolution was in no way a departure from its long-standing support of the Jewish State.

He explained that he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on December 23, reiterating the British position on the illegality of the settlements.

"I probably spoke for a large majority of Members when I said that I am a strong and passionate supporter of the state of Israel, but I also believe that the continued expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank is by no means conducive to peace," he said.

"The British Government will continue to make the points ​that we have, not because we are hostile to Israel—on the contrary—but because we wish to support the state of Israel," he later added.

After the resolution passed, the Israeli government reacted fiercely, with the ambassadors of the countries which voted in favor of the resolution being summoned to the foreign ministry for "clarification," and Netanyahu instructed ministers to scale back working ties with their counterparts in these countries.

Netanyahu accused the United States of "colluding" with the Palestinians behind Israel's back, pointing the finger at the Obama administration, a claim the Israeli leader repeated on Tuesday.

Read more: Allowing UN resolution to pass was best move for peace, Obama tells Israeli TV

Ex-commander of UK forces warns of 'another anti-Israel resolution' at UN 

Despite meeting 'snub', UK welcomes 'any opportunity' to develop Israel ties

Comments

(2)

Well, Boris Johnson was insincere about Churchill's views on Islam in his book about Churchill. Now he continues to lie about what the problem is in the Israeli Palestinian conflict My Amazon review of Boris Johnson's The Churchill Factor http://madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2015/10/my-amazon-review-of-boris-johnsons.html

Johnson should remember his Jewish roots before bashing Israel!

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