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UK-Israeli Relations

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the possible effect on UK-Israeli relations of the boycott of Israeli academics by the National Association of Teachers of Further and Higher Education; and if she will make a statement. (76554)

The Government regrets the decision by the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) to vote in favour of boycotting Israeli academics and institutions. We believe that such boycotts are counter-productive and that far more can be obtained through dialogue and academic co-operation.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my noble Friend Lord Triesman of Tottenham, issued a public statement on the boycott on 29 May 2006. The full text of the statement is available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029391638&a=KArticle&aid=1148472774425%20&year=2006&month=2006-05-01&date=2006-05-29

I understand that, following the merger between NATFHE and the Association of University teachers on 1 June, the boycott has now been suspended.