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British Embassy Relocation: Jerusalem

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 8 November 2022

8. What assessment he has made of the potential effect of relocating the British embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. (902110)

There are no plans to move the UK embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv. Israel is a close friend and a key strategic partner, built on decades of co-operation. We will continue to strengthen our relationship with Israel through our embassy in Tel Aviv.

I am very pleased to hear that, as I know my constituents will be. However, why was that move ever under consideration, given that last month at the United Nations, 143 countries, including Israel and the UK, voted to reaffirm that any unilateral annexation of territory by another state is a violation of international law? Navi Pillay, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has observed that unless that principle is applied equally to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, it would become meaningless. Is this not just another example of the Conservative party’s chaotic approach to international relations that has so badly undermined the UK’s reputation on the global stage?

The Government have looked at this issue. There are no plans to move the British embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv. We will continue to work to ensure that we are in the best position possible to continue promoting peace and stability in the region and supporting a two-state solution.

I welcome the Minister’s update. Will he reaffirm that that is the long- standing position of our country; that it is the right position internationally; that the work done by our consulate-general in Jerusalem is extremely valued and complements what is happening in our embassy in Tel Aviv; and that that will continue to be the case?