[Theresa May also said that her government will mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration “with pride.” (File photo)]
London: British Prime Minister Theresa May while participating in a debate on Balfour Declaration in the UK Parliament on Wednesday that the government is proud of the role which the country played in creation of the state of Israel.
Theresa May also said that her government will mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration “with pride.”
“We are proud of the role that we played in declaration of the state of Israel and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride. And I am also pleased of the good trade relations and other relationships with Israel,” May said at a weekly question session at the House of Commons, according to Anadolu Agency.
“We also must be conscious of the sensitivities that some people have about the Balfour Declaration and we recognize there is more work to done. We remain committed to the two-state solution in relation to Israel and Palestinians,” she added.
Tory MP Matthew Offord opened the debate by quoting from the famous declaration.
“In a mere 67 words, the United Kingdom set in motion a chain of events that led to the historic birth of Israel...The United Kingdom has a lot to be proud of, and I welcome repeated statements by the prime minister... that we will mark the centenary with a sense of pride,” Offord said.
Offord however also talked about the right of Palestinians to have a state of their own.
“Just as the Jewish people have a legitimate claim to the land, so too do the Palestinians, who deserve a sovereign state of their own. A viable, thriving Palestinian state could offer much to the region,” he said.
Reiterating the stand taken by Theresa May, Middle East Minister Alistair Burt said: “The government is proud of the role that the U.K. played in the creation of the state of Israel.”
“We will mark the centenary with pride and respect, but also with a degree of sadness, as issues between Israel and the Palestinians remain unresolved,” he added.
Citing Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reiterating U.K. “support for a two-state solution when he visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in March,” Burt stressed that Johnson “also expressed concern about Israeli settlements and demolitions.”
However, Scottish Nationalist Party MP Joanna Cherry underlined that many of her constituents “have pointed out that the Balfour Declaration disregarded the rights, wishes and claims of the Palestinian people, who made up nearly 90 percent of the population in Palestine in 1917.”
“The Balfour Declaration and Britain’s subsequent acts when Palestine was under its control created the framework for Palestinian dispossession and the establishment in 1948 of a state whose basic laws and subsequent policies have privileged the rights of Jewish inhabitants above those of Palestinians,” she said.