Wednesday, February 9, 2011
U.K. urges Israel to tone down 'belligerent' rhetoric amid Mideast uprisings
The Middle East peace process could become a casualty of the current unrest sweeping the region unless "bold leadership" is shown by all sides to push it forward, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday.
Hague, who is currently visiting a number of countries in the region, said the peace process could "lose further momentum" if international focus shifted to countries afflicted by the current unrest.
"Amidst the opportunity for countries like Tunisia and Egypt, there is a legitimate fear that the Middle East peace process will lose further momentum and be put to one side, and will be a casualty of uncertainty in the region," Hague said in a BBC interview.
Hague made his remarks on his way to Jordan, after a visit to Tunisia.
"Part of the fear is that uncertainty and change will complicate the process still further. That means there is a real urgency for the Israelis and the United States," he added.
Hague urged Israel to avoid "belligerent" language and called for "bold leadership" from the United States, Israel and the Palestinians.
"Without action now, within a few years, peace may become impossible," Hague warned.