William Hague still vague on 'Palestine'

Britain is still holding fire over whether it would recognise a Palestinian declaration of independence at the United Nations in September.

Jewish leaders warned Foreign Secretary William Hague in a meeting on Wednesday that a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence would have a negative impact on peace prospects, making negotiations less likely.

The meeting, described as "warm and convivial" by the Foreign Office , had been requested months ago by the Board of Deputies amid concern that the UK was increasing pressure on Israel.

Board president Vivian Wineman, the chairman of Jewish Leadership Council's trustee board Mick Davis, Bicom chairman Poju Zabludowicz and the chief executives of the Board and JLC, discussed with Mr Hague the impact of the Arab Spring on Israel, and other recent Middle East events.

They said that Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state was essential for peace on the basis of "two states for two peoples".

    Last updated: 1:16pm, June 16 2011