Prime Minister Keir Starmer

Newly-elected Labour prime minister Keir Starmer has today spoken with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

In his call with Netanyahu, the Prime Minister “said he looked forward to further deepening the close relationship between the two countries”.

They went on to discuss the importance of regional security in the Middle East, with the Prime Minister “committing to continuing the UK and Israel’s vital cooperation to deter malign threats”. In particular, the PM expressed his concern around the situation on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and said that “it was crucial all parties acted with caution”.

With regard to the conflict in Gaza, Starmer “reiterated his condolences for the tragic loss of life following the October attacks” and “set out the clear and urgent need for a ceasefire, the return of hostages and an immediate increase in the volume of humanitarian aid reaching civilians”.

He added that “it was also important to ensure the long-term conditions for a two-state solution were in place, ensuring the Palestinian Authority had the financial means to operate effectively”.

The Prime Minister also spoke with PA president Mahmoud Abbas, during which he “updated President Abbas on his immediate priorities, including securing a ceasefire, the return of hostages, an increase and acceleration in humanitarian aid, and financial support for the Palestinian Authority”,

They also discussed “the importance of reform” of the PA, to “ensure international legitimacy for Palestine”, while reiterating that Labour’s “longstanding policy on recognition to contribute to a peace process had not changed”.