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Ambassador Hassassian tells Boris Johnson a thing or two at the Conservative Party Conference

Oct. 10, 2016, midnight

H.E. Manuel Hassassian shared the platform with the British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, last week, at the Conservative Party Conference. The Ambassador was speaking at the Annual Arab Ambassadors’ Reception fringe event.

The Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Core, H.E. Mr. Khaled Al Duwaisan, Ambassador of Kuwait to the UK, welcomed the new Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, and congratulated him on his appointment. He expressed his hope that the British government would continue to support the Palestinians and all efforts to establish a Palestinian state as part of a two state solution.

Ambassador Hassassian, then, took the floor and reminded the attendees that the coming year, 2017, was a very significant year for the Palestinians as it marks 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, 70 years since the Partition Plan of Palestine, 50 years of Israeli occupation and 10 years of the siege of Gaza.

His Excellency Hassassian emphasised that the Palestinian people were in urgent need of political support. Previous governments, both Labour and Conservative had always said the right thing and given financial and logistical support in terms of infrastructure, yet what the Palestinians needed now, more than ever, was a British government which took a more active role in the peace process and in saving the two state solution. He continued by saying that Britain was aware that there would be no peace in the Middle East until there was a just resolution of the Palestinian conflict. A comprehensive and just peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians would lead to security and form the backbone to stability in the region. Britain had to engage in an assertive conflict resolution approach rather than crisis management, which it, and the International community, had been doing for all too long and which had failed miserably.

Britain had to take action and end trade with illegal Israeli settlements. It should uphold its historical, moral and legal responsibilities to the Palestinian people. It was obligated to them to correct the disaster that befell them caused by the Balfour Declaration – to make it right. The Ambassador called upon the current Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson to add the missing clause to the 1917 Declaration made by the then Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour. The missing part of the Declaration which he should add without delay is the unequivocal recognition of a fully independent Palestinian state.

His Excellency, Mr. Manuel Hassassian, concluded by thanking the British government for its continued support, in principle, of the people and government of Palestine and its espousal of the establishment of a Palestinian state and just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

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