Labour to delay recognition of Palestinian state

Sir Keir Starmer’s advisers are reportedly concerned early acknowledgement may create a rift with Biden


The Labour Party will recognise a Palestinian state as a 'contribution' to a renewed peace process (Photo: Cameron Smith/Getty Images)

Labour will reportedly delay recognising a Palestinian state if elected despite a manifesto pledge to do so.

Allies of Sir Keir Starmer have counselled him to avoid rushing into any early acknowledgement over fears it could undermine Britain’s relationship with America, The Times reported.

Such a move could drive a wedge between his government and President Biden’s administration.

Sir Keir’s advisors are said to have reccomended instead that Britain recognise Palestinian in coordination with other western nations.

A source close to Starmer told The Times that British recognition of Palestine was “a process” that would “have the most impact” if done in “co-ordination with allies”.

They denied that the American position would influence the timing of any announcement, however.

In recent months several countries, including Spain, Denmark and Ireland have said that they will recognise a Palestinian state.

Last month the White House insisted that President Biden still believes a two state solution must be delivered via negotiations, rather than unilateral recognition.

"President Biden believes that a two-state solution that guarantees Israel's security and also a future of dignity and security for the Palestinian people is the best way to bring about long-term security and stability for everyone in the region," his national security adviser said.

Labour’s manifesto, released earlier in the campaign, commits the party to recognising a Palestinian state as a “contribution” to a renewed peace process if elected to government – irrespective of Israel’s position.

The policy document appears to commit the party to backing Palestinian statehood during – rather than at the culmination of – a peace process.

It declares: “Palestinian statehood is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people. It is not in the gift of any neighbour and is also essential to the long-term security of Israel.

"We are committed to recognising a Palestinian state as a contribution to a renewed peace process which results in a two-state solution with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.”

Long-term peace and security in the Middle East will be an “immediate focus” for an incoming government led by Sir Keir Starmer, the manifesto states.

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