Miliband 'dismayed' by boycott calls

British FM: Calls to boycott Israel counterproductive; praises Israeli-Palestinian trade ties.

June 23, 2009 16:26
1 minute read.
Miliband 'dismayed' by boycott calls

david miliband 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP)

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband expressed dismay Tuesday that motions calling for boycotts of Israel are being discussed by trade union congresses and conferences in the UK, the British Embassy said in a statement. "The government is dismayed that motions calling for boycotts of Israel are being discussed at trade union congresses and conferences this summer," Miliband said. "British people of all backgrounds are distressed and frustrated by the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many wish to take action to advance the goals of peace and justice, a response I understand and share intensely." "But I am saddened when this proactive energy is channeled into boycotting economic and academic events, as well as cultural events which seek to increase understanding between people. Such boycotts would, I believe, obstruct opportunities for co-operation and dialogue and serve only to polarize debate further. Boycotts would only make it harder to achieve the peace that both Palestinians and Israelis deserve and desire," the foreign secretary added. Miliband urged British unions to help find a shared solution to common challenges, and said he was "encouraged that they are ready to do so." "I commend Israeli and Palestinian trade unions for their determination to build bridges between their societies, for example through joint training for their members," said the foreign secretary.

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