Politics

PMQs: Jeremy Corbyn slams Trump's Israel peace plan in clash with Boris Johnson


Jeremy Corbyn today slammed Donald Trump’s Israel peace plan in a furious clash with Boris Johnson.

The US President unveiled his “two-state solution” yesterday calling for a Palestinian state – but also imposing imposes strict conditions, and agreeing to let Israel keep control of West Bank settlements.

President Trump boasted his plan was backed by Boris Johnson as the UK said it was a “serious proposal, reflecting extensive time and effort.”

But the UK Labour leader today said it “has no support from any Palestinian anywhere in the world.”

Mr Corbyn told the House of Commons: “President Trump’s latest Middle East peace plan is not a peace plan.

“It will annexe Palestinian territory, lock in illegal colonisation, transfer Palestinian citizens of Israel, and deny Palestinian people their fundamental rights.”

He said the UK must stand up to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who is visiting Britain and began talks with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab this morning.

But Boris Johnson said “no peace plan is perfect” and Trump’s plan is a long-called-for two state solution, with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

The Prime Minister added: “I urge him, rather than being so characteristically negative, to reach out to his friends, my friends, our friends in the Palestinian Authority, to Mahmoud Abbas, for whom I have the highest respect.

“And urge him for once to engage in this initiative to get talking – rather than to leave a political vacuum.”

Boris Johnson said: “I urge him for once to engage in this initiative to get talking”

Mr Corbyn said he has the greatest respect for Mr Abbas and those in the Palestinian Authority, adding: “I’ve met them many times.”

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But he said: “The Prime Minister should acknowledge that President Trump’s plan will not bring any move towards peace, has no support from any Palestinian anywhere in the world, and maybe this would be a good opportunity for the British government to to say frankly and candidly to the US – “on this, you are wrong.

“There needs to be a two-state solution with international support.”

Trump announced his plan at a White House event with embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing at his side.

President Trump announced the move beside the Israeli leader, Netanyahu

It includes what Trump called a four-year freeze by Israel on new settlement activity.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mocked what Trump has called the “deal of the century,” describing it as the “slap of the century.”

Palestinians have refused to deal with the Trump administration in protest at pro-Israel policies such as moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Mr Corbyn asked a scattergun of Prime Minister’s Questions as he prepares to step down in April.

He also told the Government it should not be financing fossil fuel projects overseas.

An image of Donald Trump’s plan for Israeli peace

During  PMQs, Mr Corbyn said: “Given the scale of the crisis, does the Prime Minister think that we as a country should be financing billions of pounds on oil and gas projects all around the world?”

Responding, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I do think it important that the UK continues to campaign against hydrocarbon emissions of all kinds, as we do, and he will have noticed that we have just decided to ban support for all extraction of coal around the world.

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“That is a massive step forward by this country.”

Mr Corbyn also slammed continuing arms sales to Saudi Arabia, with the UK government breaching its own ban on sales four times.

Boris Johnson hit back by branding him “a supporter and defender of the Iranian regime in Tehran who have grossly exacerbated the tension in Yemen by sending missiles to attack the people of Saudi Arabia.”

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Mr Corbyn said he opposed all human rights abuses, including in Iran and Yemen.

Mr Corbyn paid tribute to veteran broadcaster Nicholas Parsons, who died at the age of 96 on Tuesday.

He then continued: “This Friday the UK will be leaving the European Union,” to which a Tory backbencher shouted “repetition,” in reference to the Radio 4 programme Just A Minute which Mr Parsons presented.

Mr Johnson replied: “In memory of Nicholas Parsons, I think we should all avoid hesitation, deviation, or repetition in this House.”





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