HC Deb 29 November 1995 vol 267 c1198
22. Mr. Hawkins

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance Her Majesty's Government are giving to the peace process in the middle east. [876]

Mr. Hanley

The £83 million of aid to the Palestinians has already been mentioned.

On his recent visit, my hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary encouraged the Palestinians and Israelis to maintain progress on the Palestinian track. He also urged Syria and the Israelis to press forward in their negotiations, and encouraged all the countries of the region to support the peace process—as did I during my recent visit to the Gulf.

Mr. Hawkins

I thank my right hon. Friend for that helpful answer. Does he agree that it is crucial to keep in touch with all the leaders of the most moderate Arab states to ensure that they are encouraged to continue their dialogue in all the tracks of the continuing peace process with the Israeli Government?

Mr. Hanley

I strongly agree with my hon. Friend. Indeed, I believe that the reaction of the Arab nations to the tragic assassination of Yitzhak Rabin is one of the developments that give us the most hope that the peace process will now accelerate. We hope that Mr. Rabin's tragic death will not have been in vain.