» Thursday, July 13, 2006

Middle East

Asked if the UK Government had had any contact with the Israeli Government, and what were the views on the bombing of Beirut Airport, the PMOS replied that we were in constant contact with the Israeli Government. The FCO had made clear our view on individual incidents, but overall, people should remember how these problems had arisen. First, there was the kidnapping in the south, and yesterday, a kidnapping in the north. We condemned those kidnappings, and we called for the soldiers involved to be released. Equally, we called for restraint on all sides, because in the end, this was going to have to be resolved by negotiations. People should try and avoid actions which would make it more difficult to get back to the negotiating table, as that was where we were going to have to go.

Asked if the British Government considered the actions of the Israeli Government to be proportionate, the PMOS said that the UK Government hoped that actions would be proportionate. The FCO had made our views on particular incidents known, but the important thing was that we recognised how this problem arose in the first place, and the people being held should be released. Equally, people should try and avoid action which made it more difficult to get back to negotiations.

Asked if the Government believed that the actions of the Israeli Government amounted to collective punishment, the PMOS replied that the Government believed that it was much more important to focus on trying to get back to negotiations, rather than placing blame one way or the other.  The PMOS said again that the important thing was that people exercised restraint, acted proportionately, and that we tried to do everything we could to get back to negotiating. That did not mean grandstanding, but rather, hard negotiations.

Asked if the Government shared Israel’s view that Iran and Syria were to blame, the PMOS said that the Government’s view was that all countries in the region should do what they could, and live up to their responsibilities to try and calm the situation, restore stability, and get back to negotiations.

Asked if there were any plans for the Prime Minister and Margaret Beckett to hold crisis meetings etc, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister would be talking about this issue with Javier Solana and Kofi Annan today. Margaret Beckett would be talking to leaders in the region.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news


  1. I had not thought it possible for ‘New Labour’ to sink any lower. I wonder what a disproportionate use of force would amount to in their eyes. I am inclined to believe that what matters for the government is not what is done, but who is doing it. In other circles that is known as racism. I find myself ashamed to admit to being British, and I now do everything in my power to advertise the hypocrisy and amorality of the British government in all my dealings with people from other countries.

    Comment by Ellie Keen — 16 Jul 2006 on 2:20 am | Link
  2. "We’ll have our war with Iran, damn it! Just you try and stop us…"



    It’s Iraq all over again. The only thing we’re missing so far is a dodgy dossier, although we HAVE had the lies over Irans "nookular weapons" program. But, by hook or by crook the corporate stooges who are looting our countries whilst masquerading as politicians, are determined they are going to get stuck into Iran, and if it means lying about Irans involvement in every other conflict on the planet, then tough tit world, get used to it, Iran WILL get the shit kicked out of it, one way or another, sooner or later.

    Comment by SmokeNMirrors — 18 Jul 2006 on 11:44 pm | Link

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