Middle East

I fully support Anas Sarwar’s comments at FMQs yesterday and the First Minister’s response.  I have also signed MSP Pauline McNeill’s motion. See details of both below.

From the Official Report 7 December 2017

Yesterday, President Donald Trump made the frankly dangerous decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is now clear that under his leadership the US cannot be seen as an honest broker for peace and that, in fact, he is a threat to a just settlement, to a viable independent Palestinian state and to wider middle east peace. Will the First Minister add the voice of the Scottish Government, and urge the United Kingdom Government to add its voice, to the growing consensus in the international community, from the Pope, the United Nations secretary-general, the European Union and our NATO allies, including Germany, France and Turkey, in condemnation of President Trump’s decision? Will she resolve to work right across the UK in order to urge the international community, in our world of chaos, to make the case for middle east peace?

Yes, I will. I have already condemned Donald Trump’s decision on behalf of the Scottish Government and I am glad to see that, for once, the UK Government has also condemned that decision.

Let us remember that Jerusalem includes occupied Palestinian territory. The decision that Donald Trump took on Jerusalem was reckless, wrong and a real threat to peace in the middle east. That is why the decision has rightly been condemned across the international community.

The status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians and ultimately, of course, Jerusalem should be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states. That is an important principle.

Yesterday’s decision, as I say, was reckless and wrong. It threatens peace in the middle east and it is incumbent on all of us to condemn that decision and to work even harder to secure peace in the middle east and, even at this late stage, to call on Donald Trump to think again.

Motion S5M-09446: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/12/2017

That the Parliament is very concerned that President Trump has said that he recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; notes that this is despite East Jerusalem remaining occupied Palestinian territory; believes that this move destroys successive United States commitments that Jerusalem and its final status be decided by negotiation; understands that Pope Francis has called for the status quo in Jerusalem to be respected in line with UN resolutions; believes that Trump’s announcement contradicts the United States’ international commitments and historic foreign policy and expresses its deeps concern that this could damage that nation’s ability to play a constructive role in any initiative toward achieving a just and lasting peace; considers that this will contribute to the further destabilisation of the region, and believes that it will set back efforts to achieve a peaceful solution after decades of systematic violations of Palestinian human rights.

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