UK's Cleverly visits Saudi Arabia for talks on Israel-Gaza war

Mr Cleverly will reaffirm the UK’s support for humanitarian pauses in the conflict as soon as possible

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly meets with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Reuters
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UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has travelled to Saudi Arabia as part of diplomatic efforts to prevent the Israel-Gaza war from becoming a wider Middle East crisis.

Mr Cleverly is due to hold talks with regional ministers in efforts to prevent escalation, work towards a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel, and push to get humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“I have been focused on diplomatic efforts to secure the release of hostages, to ensure that foreign nationals can leave Gaza, to deter any escalation regionally and to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid at scale," he said.

“I will continue this essential work in Saudi Arabia where I will meet with a number of my counterparts in the region to explore how we achieve those aims quickly, and also look to the future of a lasting, peaceful and prosperous two-state solution for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

There are concerns about the spread of violence beyond the Israel-Gaza war started by the October 7 attacks by Hamas in Israel.

Mr Cleverly is expected to increase attempts to prevent wider regional escalation, including in Lebanon and Yemen, where Iranian-backed groups have attacked Israel.

The latest from the Israel-Gaza war - in pictures

He will also discuss initiatives to significantly increase aid flowing into Gaza, which has been cut off and bombarded by the Israeli military, leading to shortages of medicine, fuel, food and water.

Mr Cleverly will reaffirm the UK’s support for more humanitarian pauses in the fighting as soon as possible to deliver aid and provide a crucial window for hostages – including British nationals – to be released.

And he will also use his meetings to repeat his condemnation of the rise of attacks involving Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and to call for Israel to hold those responsible to account.

Updated: November 09, 2023, 12:31 PM