The new US Secretary of State, John Kerry, honoured the UK with a visit at the start of his first diplomatic tour in the post and dished out a lesson in how it feels to be a small nation patronised by a superpower. There was ample briefing in advance that the focus of his discussions with the UK government would be Syria and the stalled Middle East peace process.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that European trade sanctions against Israel are not an option, Reuters has reported.
"I don't think there is enthusiasm around the European Union ... about economic sanctions in Europe on Israel. I don't believe there would be anywhere near a consensus nor is that our approach,” Mr Hague said.
Government sources have told Sky News that Britain has threatened to "revisit" EU trade agreements with Israel in the wake of Israel’s warning that it may build 3,000 new settlement homes east of Jerusalem.
Israel’s warning comes following the UN vote last week to upgrade the Palestinian Authority from ‘entity’ to ‘non-member observer’ status.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that the likelihood of a return to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations would have been greater if the Palestinian Authority had given the reassurances Britain asked for ahead of Thursday UN General assembly vote.
William Hague has announced that Britain will abstain in tomorrow’s UN vote on an upgrade for the Palestinian Authority to non-member observer status - unless the Palestinians meet three key conditions.