HC Deb 12 June 1996 vol 279 c310
22. Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of Israel regarding the ceasefire in the Lebanon. [30865]

Mr. Hanley

During the conflict in Lebanon, we repeatedly urged all sides to reach a ceasefire agreement. Since the 26 April agreement was reached, my right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary and I have been in touch, by letter and telephone, with the Israeli Government about Lebanon, and kept in regular touch, in person, with the Israeli ambassador to the Court of St. James.

Mr. Cunningham

Has the Minister had any clarification from the new Israeli Prime Minister who says that he wants peace and security? What is the Minister's interpretation of that statement?

Mr. Hanley

I cannot but believe that it is in the interests of the new Israeli Government and their Prime Minister to continue the peace process. Peace comes with prosperity and prosperity comes with peace. It must be in the interests of all people in the middle east to pursue the peace process. Last weekend, and during the week, I visited five countries—Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco—and in each of them I found constructive views and people willing to give the new Prime Minister of Israel the chance to show that he is dedicated to peace. I believe that the Arab world will do so and that Mr. Netanyahu will rise to the occasion.

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