Eastwood: New government must recognise State of Palestine

palestine gaza colum eastwood

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has said that a new British Government should follow the lead of Ireland, Norway and Spain by recognising the state of Palestine as a crucial step in advancing a new peace process in the region.


Colum Eastwood wrote to British Foreign Secretary David Cameron last month ahead of an important UN General Assembly vote on whether Palestine met the criteria for admission to the body urging the former Prime Minister to recognise the legitimate aspirations of both peoples.

The SDLP Leader and candidate for Foyle said that a Labour government should take risks for peace in the same way that previous Labour administrations had done in Northern Ireland.

Colum Eastwood said:

“I joined peace activists at Grianán of Aileach this week to send a message of solidarity to tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza who are living in the middle of a genocide. The people of Derry and people across this island stand steadfast against the horrors being inflicted on innocent people by the government of Israel and Hamas.

“The SDLP’s long standing view is that the only path to peace in the region is based on a durable and sustainable two-state solution. That must begin with recognition of the legitimate aspirations and rights of both peoples in the eyes of the international community. That is why I wrote to the British Foreign Secretary last month urging him to reverse his government’s decision to abstain on Palestinian statehood and membership of the United Nations.

“Now as it looks increasingly likely that there will be a new government in Britain, I will be using my influence to press for a new administration to follow the lead of Ireland, Norway and Spain and recognise the state of Palestine as an important step in advancing a new peace process that provides dignity, safety and space for the pursuit of the legitimate ambitions of both peoples.

“We all have a responsibility to act for peace and to bring this genocide to an end. Labour governments have taken risks for peace before - SDLP MPs will press them to do the same for the people of Gaza.”

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