On 22 May, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, welcomed Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at the start of his two-day visit to the UK. The Ministers welcomed the growing strength of the bilateral relationship and efforts to deepen economic and hi-tech co-operation. They also discussed regional issues, including Iran and the Middle East Peace Process - including the importance of strengthening the Palestinian Authority. Speaking after the meeting, the Foreign Secretary said:
“I was pleased to welcome Foreign Minister Lieberman to the UK yesterday. We had a positive, wide-ranging meeting. In particular we discussed Iran and our shared determination to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon and the importance of Iran engaging meaningfully with the E3+3 in Baghdad to build confidence and help enable a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue.
“I made clear the UK’s concern about the current stalemate in the Middle East Peace Process, and our view that there is an urgent need for progress. I expressed the UK’s firm view that continued illegal Israeli settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is harming Israel’s international standing and endangering the two state solution. I reiterated our unswerving support for a lasting two state solution to the conflict that achieves a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian State, based on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem the future capital of both states, and a fair settlement for refugees, and our readiness to work with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to bring that about”.