Britain urges Israeli, Palestinian leaders to give fair consideration to U.S. plan

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, January 23, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to give fair consideration to a U.S. plan to bring peace to the Middle East, foreign minister, Dominic Raab, said on Tuesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed the creation of a Palestinian state with a capital in Eastern Jerusalem, in an effort to achieve a breakthrough.

Under the proposed plan, the United States will recognize Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank and in exchange, Israel would agree to accept a four-year freeze on new settlement activity while Palestinian statehood was being negotiated.

“This is clearly a serious proposal, reflecting extensive time and effort,” said Raab in a statement.

“Only the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian territories can determine whether these proposals can meet the needs and aspirations of the people they represent.

“We encourage them to give these plans genuine and fair consideration, and explore whether they might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations,” he said.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Bernadette Baum