23 January 2024

Suffering in Gaza is ‘unacceptable’, minister to tell UN

23 January 2024

A UK minister will warn at the United Nations that the situation in Gaza is “worsening daily” and suffering there is “unacceptable”.

Middle East minister Lord Ahmad travels to New York on Tuesday to restate the UK’s call for an immediate humanitarian pause in the conflict that would lead to a sustainable ceasefire.

It comes as global concern continues to grow about the situation in the Middle East.

The UK Government on Monday said it would continue with its support for a two-state solution in the Middle East for “as long as it takes” after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would “not compromise” on Tel Aviv control over Palestinian territories.

The peer will deliver the UK’s statement on the Middle East peace process at the UN Security Council’s open debate, set to be chaired by French foreign minister Stephane Sejourne.

Lord Ahmad will say the crisis in Gaza is “worsening daily, suffering is unacceptable, and our priority must be to alleviate it”, and that “an immediate pause is now necessary to get life-saving aid in, and hostages out”.

The Foreign Office minister will hold diplomatic talks with foreign minister of the Palestinian Authorities, Riyad Malki, as well as the foreign ministers of Algeria, Lebanon and Jordan.

He will also speak to the UN permanent representatives of Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Lord Ahmad will say that the conflict “must not go on a moment longer than is necessary” and that “we need to work towards a sustainable ceasefire”.

He will add: “Peace remains the only way to end the tragedy and suffering that has engulfed Israelis and Palestinians once and for all.

“We must work together to make the vision for peace a living reality.”

The visit will also see the minister meet the leaders of aid organisations including Unicef and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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