British Foreign Policy on Middle East to Change to Reflect Arab Concerns

(Telegraph-UK) Richard Spencer and Damien McElroy - Whitehall officials said Foreign Secretary William Hague's decision to reach out to Gulf states in an effort to secure better diplomatic and trade ties meant Britain had to "take on board" Arab foreign policy goals. "We have to respond to what Gulf States want. If we want a long-term partnership on foreign policy, then changes in our stance have to be part of it," said one diplomat. That may mean yet further withdrawal of traditional British support for Israel, with criticism of its government already more marked under Mr. Hague than it was under New Labour government. In another indication of the Foreign Office's new sensitivity to Arab opinion, officials admitted to The Daily Telegraph that policies on the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006, Israel's invasion of Gaza in 2008-9, and its occupation of the West Bank and settlements policy were "motivators" for the Islamic radicalism that they confronted daily in the Gulf.

2010-11-26 08:33:56

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