Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

May to Netanyahu: Britain Is Committed to a Two-State Solution | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55367054

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (L) greets Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Foreign Office in London, February 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool

London, Tel Aviv – British Prime Minister Theresa May told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of a meeting between the two leaders that the U.K. government is committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

May’s statement came on the occasion of her talks with Netanyahu at Downing Street during his visit to London.

Netanyahu told May that he shares her desire for peace in the region, but didn’t support the two-state solution.

Several hundred anti-Israel activists demonstrated outside the gates of Downing Street on Monday, as May hosted the Israeli PM at her office.

Prior to his departure to London, Netanyahu underlined that he seeks a joint stance against Iran.

In remarks at Ben-Gurion International Airport, Netanyahu emphasized the opportunity presented at the moment for strengthening ties with the new governments in London and in Washington, but added that Tehran was also aware of this and was trying to test the boundaries through what he called “extraordinary aggression, impudence and defiance.”

“I think what’s most important at the moment is that countries like the United States in the lead but also such as Israel and Britain stand together against the Iranian aggression and set clear boundaries. That will be the first among many topics that I will speak to British Prime Minister Theresa May about and of course also with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson,” said the Israeli PM.

Netanyahu and May’s meeting will be their first summit since May took office in July. Netanyahu’s London visit will be followed a week and a half later by a visit to Washington, where he will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence issued a stern warning to Iran in an interview with ABC News where he said: “Iran would do well not to test the resolve of this new president.

Pence advised Iran to think twice about their continued hostile and belligerent actions.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis called Iran “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world” in his first comments on the country Saturday in Tokyo.

Following her meeting with Netanyahu, Israeli radio reported the British PM saying that there are several means of cooperation between the two countries, adding that its country supports a two-state solution.

Reuters reported May’s spokeswoman who said that the British leader had repeated her backing for the nuclear deal with Tehran but said there was a need to “rigorously monitor” Iran’s behavior.

“The prime minister made clear that we support the deal on nuclear that was agreed,” the spokeswoman told reporters, when asked whether Britain was considering joining new sanctions.

“What happens now is that (the nuclear deal) needs to be properly enforced, and we also need to be alert to Iran’s pattern of destabilizing activity in the region,” added the spokeswoman.