British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at 10 Downing Street in London.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
British Prime Minister David Cameron urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to adhere to a policy that advances a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, The Guardian reported late Monday.
The British premier congratulated Netanyahu on his election victory while emphasizing that a peace agreement yielding a Palestinian state remained the best way to "achieve a lasting peace and to secure Israel’s long-term security and prosperity."
According to The Guardian
, Cameron "congratulated [Netanyahu] on winning the recent Israeli elections and looked forward to working with the new government when it was formed.”
Cameron told the British parliament that London would pressure both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume negotiations.
“I think that’s in the long term interest not just to the Palestinians, but also to the Israelis, and Britain’s policy on that will not change,” Cameron told MPs.
When Labor MP and former foreign secretary Jack Straw challenged Cameron regarding Israeli settlement activity, the premier replied: "If there isn’t a two-state solution you end up moving towards a one-state solution which I think will be disastrous for the Jewish people in Israel."
“So I really do believe in the two-state solution and we’re very much opposed to the settlement building that there has been and been very clear about that and will continue to be clear about that. It makes a two-state solution more difficult and that in turn will make Israel less stable rather than more stable.”
Cameron's deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, was more forceful in denouncing Netanyahu's campaign declarations that seemed to rule out an Israeli pullback from the territories.
“I actually share President Obama’s views much more than David Cameron’s,” Clegg told a British radio station. “It is extremely worrying – it cannot be more alarming – to have seen Benjamin Netanyahu do something which no leading Israeli politician has ever done – to rule out the prospect of a two-state solution.”
Clegg said that if the new Netanyahu-led government continued to expand settlements in the West Bank, “the world, including the British parliament, would have no option, inevitably, but to recognize a Palestinian state."