David Cameron to set out UK basis for continuing arms sales to Israel | Foreign policy

Prime Minister David Cameron will explain on Tuesday why Britain continues to export arms to Israel, as ministers face continued pressure to disclose official legal advice on the trade.

The Foreign Secretary will discuss the Middle East crisis with US Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken during his visit to Washington, where he will also provide an update on the UK’s arms export regime.

Downing Street said it had no plans to publish legal advice but wanted to be transparent about its decision to continue arms exports during the Gaza conflict.

“We clearly recognize the interest in this issue and will always strive to be transparent about our decisions on these matters, respecting our long-standing practice of not publishing legal advice on these matters.” ” said the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson.

Rishi Sunak has come under pressure from Conservative Party leaders, including veteran Nicholas Soames and House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee chair Alicia Kearns, to halt arms exports given the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. I’m strengthening it.

The call comes in the wake of an attack that left seven aid workers dead, including three British nationals, who worked at food charity World Central Kitchen.

Keir Starmer is also under pressure to back a halt to arms sales after London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for the government to consider immediate action. Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar. and Labor MP Margaret Beckett, who served as Foreign Secretary under Tony Blair.

The UK’s arms export regime would block the supply of arms to Israel if there was a clear risk that the items would be used to commit or facilitate serious breaches of international humanitarian law. British companies provide about 0.02% of Israel’s total arms imports.

No 10 spokesman insisted the government was “totally united” on the conflict despite claims of a split cabinet, with Prime Minister David Cameron taking a tougher stance on criticism of Israel than some colleagues. I’m taking it.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden suggested that “some people are having a bit of fun” at the opportunity to criticize Israel, but Number 10 dismissed the idea that he was referring to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mel Stride, a close ally of Mr Sunak, said on Monday that Israel “adheres to the rule of law”, but echoed the foreign secretary’s comments that Britain’s support for Israel is not unconditional. he emphasized.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said: “We expect Israel not to do what happened to its aid workers and we have made it clear that we are appalled by what happened there.”

Israeli forces have withdrawn troops from the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis but are unlikely to launch an attack on Hamas’ last stronghold in Rafah, despite international calls for restraint led by the UK and US. There’s more.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have fled to Rafah after six months of conflict that began with an October 7 massacre by Hamas in southern Israel. A large-scale attack would likely result in many deaths.

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Prime Minister Cameron will also use his visit to warn that the US is putting the security of Western countries at risk by withholding new aid for Ukraine, meet with key figures in Congress and add: The plan is to ask for a block on $60bn (£47bn) in funding to be lifted.

Video reveals destruction of Khan Yunis after Israeli withdrawal – video

He is scheduled to meet with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, and is expected to meet with House Speaker Mike Johnson, whose colleagues are blocking a vote on aid to Ukraine. I want it.

“Successes and failures for Ukraine [Vladimir] “President Putin is essential to the security of the United States and Europe,” Cameron said before the visit.

“This will show that borders matter, that aggression does not pay, and that countries like Ukraine are free to choose their future.

“This alternative will only encourage President Putin to make further attempts to redraw Europe’s borders by force, and will be heard loud and clear in Beijing, Tehran, and North Korea.”

Earlier this year, the UK announced a further £2.5bn of aid to help Ukraine fight Russian aggression, and the EU also pledged a further £43bn of aid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said that if parliament does not pass a military aid package, Ukraine will lose the war. “If Ukraine loses the war, other countries will also be attacked,” he said.