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UK views Road Map as basis for solving ME problem

posted on 19/04/2004: 657 views

The leader of the UK-UAE All-Party Parliamentary Group currently on a visit to the UAE yesterday confirmed the UK's adherence to the Road Map as the fundamental basis for negotiating a peaceful settlement in the Middle East, irrespective of what Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's agenda was. "The UK is firm that a partnership approach to the issue involving a two-state solution with borders for both sides is the answer to resolving the Middle East problem,” Kevan Jones, MP, the Group's Chairman told a press conference. On the UK Government's stance on the current situation in Iraq, the group member stressed that Prime Minister Tony Blair was firm that power would be handed over to the Iraqis by the end of June and that he would press for a bigger role for the UN in Iraq.

The MPs said that Prime Minister Blair was playing a key and important role in these issues and would use his special relations with US President George Bush to advance this agenda for a permanent solution to the Middle East problem. They also agreed that the UAE had strong feelings on these issues and the Group would act as a conduit to convey the UAE viewpoint in the British Parliament and the respective constituencies of the MPs.

The UAE's perspective on crucial issues such as implications of a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza that would include security and humanitarian concerns would be greatly valued, as the UAE has been closely involved in humanitarian projects in Gaza for a long time, the MPs said. The visiting MPs said that they are very interested in facilitating a greater understanding in the British Parliament of the UAE's importance and its views on current critical issues facing the Middle East, as well as help forge closer commercial and cultural links between the two countries.

The five-member delegation of British MPs who arrived here on Saturday, said that the all-party parliamentary group which was was formally established in December last year, is very interested in bringing about closer relations between the UAE and the UK in various fields. The UAE's political position on regional issues will also be highlighted by the group in the British parliament, while the ground work is also being set up to boost commercial, educational and cultural ties. Jones said that the group will have members visiting the UAE twice a year in a bid to pursue its objectives to foster closer relations between the two countries.

A meeting with members of the British Business Group here indicated that the potential for increased commercial ties between the two countries existed and what was needed was a more dynamic approach, he said. The UK is also keen to increase relations with the UAE in the field of education and would like to offer its expertise in areas like vocational education, one of the members of the group said. The MPs will be meeting senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and members of the UAE and British business community during their visit.

They will also visit oil and gas terminals in Das island and key development projects in Dubai including Palm Island. The MPs include four members of the governing Labour Party, and one from the opposition Conservative party. The UK-UAE All-Party Parliamentary Group was formally created in December last year. It has members from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, including Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parliamentarians. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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