Keir Starmer meets chief Palestinian diplomat in the UK

Husam Zomlot said the pair spoke about the Labour Party's 'commitment to international law and peace'


Sir Keir Starmer has met with Palestine’s top diplomat in Britain.

Husam Zomlot, who leads the territory’s mission to the UK, said the pair had a “constructive” conversation about, “the dangerous situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the Labour Party's commitment to international law and peace in Palestine”. 

Labour confirmed the meetings had taken place, and added that Starmer and Zomlot had discussed the "recent situation" in the West Bank, the Labour Party's commitment to end the "cycle of violence that is costing more Palestinian and Israeli lives" and the two-state solution.

The Labour Party says it will recognise a Palestinian state if it takes office at the next general election.

Speaking at the Jewish Labour Movement’s annual conference in January, shadow Middle East minister Bambos Charalambous - who has since been suspended from the party following a complaint - said the move remained Labour policy post-Jeremy Corbyn.

He said: “We would recognise a Palestinian state, as things stand. Obviously what that looks like would depend on where we are if and when there is a Labour government. 

“Hopefully that would help kick-start any sort of talks around working towards a two-state solution. Because at the moment nothing is happening.”

Zomlot has previously said that Labour’s response to Israeli strikes against militant groups in Gaza let down Palestinians.

“We expected clarity of position about the atrocities that Israel has committed against our people,” he told the Middle East Eye in June 2021.

Of Sir Keir’s call for then Prime Minister Boris Johnson to recognise a Palestinian state at a G7 summit, he said: “We recognise that that's a good step by the Labour leadership but we expect much more of Labour.”

In February this year, Zomlot refused to condemn a terror attack that took the lives of seven Israelis, despite being asked repeatedly if he would do so.

Both during and after the interview, the Palestinian representative accused the media of "bias" in reporting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Zomlot was born in the Gaza Strip and previously led the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s mission in the United States, before it was closed under President Donald Trump’s administration. In 2010, Corbyn spoke at his wedding.

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