“I welcome the agreement reached tonight to end the hostilities in Gaza and southern Israel. I urge all sides to uphold their commitments, and pay tribute to President Mursi and the Egyptian government for their intensive efforts and the leadership they have shown, as well as to Secretary of State Clinton and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the role they have played.
“This ceasefire is an important step towards a lasting peace. The priority now must be to build on the ceasefire and to address the underlying causes of the conflict, including more open access to and from Gaza for trade as well as humanitarian assistance, and an end to the smuggling of weapons. Above all, the loss of life over the past week has shown the urgent need for a return to negotiations on a two state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The UK will work urgently with the United States, the European Union, our other international partners and with Israel and the Palestinian Authority, calling for a new initiative to restart the peace process before the window for a two state solution closes”.