July 24, 2024

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New Foreign Secretary says UK wants balanced stance on Israel and Gaza

New Foreign Secretary says UK wants balanced stance on Israel and Gaza

Britain wants a balanced position in the war in the Middle East and will use diplomatic efforts to achieve a ceasefire and the release of hostages held by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, its new foreign secretary, David Lammy, told Reuters.

Lammy arrives in Germany on Friday, his first international trip since Labor’s landslide victory in the British election that ended 14 years of Conservative rule and elevated Keir Starmer to prime minister.

“The time has come for England to reconnect with the outside world,” Lammy said in an interview in Berlin.

“I want to return to a balanced position on Israel and Gaza. We are very clear that we want a ceasefire… and the release of the hostages.”

He added: “The fighting must stop, humanitarian aid must come, and I will use all diplomatic efforts to secure this ceasefire.”

Lammy did not elaborate.

Despite a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, the Labor Party suffered a significant setback in Friday’s election in Muslim-majority areas amid discontent over its stance on the war in Gaza.

Efforts to secure a ceasefire and the release of hostages in Gaza gained momentum on Friday after Israel said talks would resume next week after Hamas presented a revised proposal to the terms of the deal.

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