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UK Foreign Minister tells CAABU that Israeli settlers will not be invited to Embassy parties again

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  • Richard Kuper
    UK Foreign Minister tells CAABU that Israeli settlers will not be invited to Embassy parties again 31st July 2008 The following letter was received today from
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1 1:24 AM
      UK Foreign Minister tells CAABU that Israeli settlers will not be
      invited to Embassy parties again

      31st July 2008

      The following letter was received today from the UK Foreign Minister,
      Dr Kim Howells MP in response to a letter from CAABU. It confirms that
      measures are being put in place to ensure that Israeli settler leaders
      will not be invited to Embassy parties in the future.

      CAABU welcomes the Minister's response and also with regards to his
      reiteration that the UK position on illegal Israeli settlements has not
      changed.

      However, CAABU continues to urge the Government that further action is
      required to ensure that Israel meets its obligations under
      international law and peace agreements to immediatley halt all
      settlement activity.


      ===========================================

       
       25th July 2008

      Dear Mr Blunt,

      Thank you for your letter of 1st July about the presence of some
      Israeli settlers at Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday Party at our
      Embassy in Tel Aviv.

      I should like first of all to reiterate our firm position that all
      Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under
      international law. You will indeed have seen that the Prime Minister
      spelt this out very clearly during his recent visit to the region and
      made clear including in a speech to the Israeli Knesset on 21 July that
      we want to see an immediate freeze of settlement activity and indeed
      withdrawal from them.

      Our Embassy in Tel Aviv's contacts with the settler community have been
      with the goal of setting out the British Government's view on this
      issue, and to seek to convince them that settlements are a significant
      obstacle to peace. But you are right that their presence at this event
      was not helpful and the Embassy is reviewing its procedures to ensure
      that it does not happen in the future.

      Kim Howells
      Minister of State
      Foreign and Commonwealth Office

      ==========================================
       CAABU letter

      Dr Kim Howells MP
      Foreign and Commonwealth Office
      King Charles St
      London SW1A 0AH

      25 June 2008

      Dear Dr Howells,

      We were very pleased that you agreed with me in Parliament on Tuesday
      24 June that the invitation of the British Embassy to settler leaders
      to attend the Embassy's Queen's Birthday party sent out, "Not very
      helpful signals".

      We were pleased because of course it had given the impression of a
      weakening in the government's long-held position that settlements were
      illegal and an obstacle to peace. Entertaining the pioneers of this
      colonisation movement has certain given the strong impression that
      Britain tacitly endorses it or no longer objects to it. Dani Dayan, for
      example who reportedly attended, is strongly in favour of expanding
      these settlements and even return settlements dismantled in the 2005
      disengagement plan.

      Given your comment, we would like to know what steps are being taken to
      ensure that this never happens again and that British tax payers' money
      is spent entertaining those who violate the Fourth Geneva Conventions
      and whose very presence has been an obstacle to a vital and much needed
      peace deal in the Middle East.

      Yours sincerely,


      Crispin Blunt MP
      Joint Chairman, CAABU


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