UK calls on US to show leadership in Israel-Palestine conflict
On Sunday, the British foreign secretary said it was time to make a huge effort toward peace in the Middle East, and called on the US to exact leverage over Israel.
London — British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Sunday urged the United States to take a more active role in seeking a lasting settlement between Israelis and Palestinians, warning of a "final chance" for a two-state solution.
Eight days of fighting between Israel and Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled enclave of Gaza diverted U.S. President Barack Obama's attention to the Middle East as he toured Asia on his first trip abroad after this month's election.
"This is what I have been calling for, particularly calling for the United States now after their election to show the necessary leadership on this over the coming months, because they have crucial leverage with Israel and no other country has," Hague said.
"We're coming to the final chance maybe for a two state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he added.
Recent U.S. efforts to coax the Palestinians and Israelis back into negotiations to agree a long term peace have failed, and talks are set become even more fraught if the Palestinians succeed in securing recognition as an "observer state".
A vote on the diplomatic upgrade could take place later this month at the U.N. General Assembly, and if successful would implicitly recognise Palestinian statehood. Israel and the United States oppose the move and call for a return to talks.
Britain has also been pushing the United States, a close ally, to take a bigger role in helping to end the conflict inSyria, with Prime Minister David Cameron calling for greater engagement within hours of Obama's re-election.