"We welcome the reconciliation [of Hamas and Fatah] and the work done by Egypt.
Of course lots of details have to be worked out and we will have to judge everyone by their actions and intentions. We will continue to work closely on this."
Last evening, at the Lord Mayor of London's Mansion House banquet, Hague delivered a speech that centred on Britain's present and proposed Middle East policy.
Inter alia, he said:
"The death of Osama Bin Laden this week was a devastating but not terminal blow to Al Qaeda....
Some wrongly thought that 9/11 was the expression of Muslim grievances; it was not. The true expression of what the people of the Muslim world want was seen in Tahrir Square in 2011, not at Ground Zero in 2001....
If the Arab Spring does lead to more open and democratic societies across the Arab world over a number of years, it will be the greatest advance for human rights and freedom since the end of the Cold War. If it does not, we could see a collapse back into more authoritarian regimes, conflict and increased terrorism in North Africa on Europe’s very doorstep....
No government on earth can resist demands for democratic change forever, if their people want it and demand it. Nowhere in the world has the attempt to preserve dictatorship without consent succeeded; not in Europe, not in Africa, Latin America or Asia. As President Reagan said in 1982 of the Soviet Union “any system is inherently unstable that has no peaceful means to legitimise its rulers”. There is no single model for democracy, but in our view there is no greater legitimacy that any government can acquire than through free elections that consult the will of all its people....
We are not starry-eyed about this. There are risks ahead. All change brings the risk of instability and there are some who will seek any opportunity to create chaos. But legitimate grievances have to be addressed.
This includes in our view an urgent need to revive the Middle East Peace Process, which must not be allowed to become a casualty of uncertainty in the region. We see a compelling need for urgent process on a two state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. Essential compromises that are difficult and painful now may become impossible in the future unless the moment is seized, and we call on both sides to re-enter negotiations. Britain hopes that the announcement of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas will lead to the formation of a government that rejects violence and pursues a negotiated peace leading to a Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel. We will judge a future Palestinian administration by its actions and its readiness to work for peace....
Alongside our indispensable relationship with the United States and our role in Europe, we now have to work more closely with countries like Brazil, which now has more diplomats in more countries in Africa than we do, and Turkey, which is Europe’s fastest growing economy and is a crucial partner for us in the Balkans, the Middle East and further afield....'
Source: Source: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=Speech&id=591702482
That's a cherished axiom of David Cameron, as well as of Lord Patten, the new head of the Al Beeb Trust.
As Euripides observed: "Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad."
And as for the Fatah-Hamas Accord, methinks William Hague might well fail this quiz: http://honestreporting.com/take-the-palestinian-unity-quiz/
Professor Barry Rubin makes this pertinent point:
"The old Arab order - except in Syria - was anti-Islamist! Removing it gives a blessed chance for democracy but it also provides an equal or better chance for radical Islamist takeovers. Each country is a different story. But if the Western governments don't notice the problem how is it going to be solved?
An example. The British government heartily endorsed the Fatah-Hamas cooperation agreement. It's not every day that America's oldest and strongest ally cheers a coalition agreement that brings a genocidal, antisemitic, terrorist-supporting, client of Iran into a regime that survives on Western financial subsidies. But the fact that London took this action only hours after the highest Hamas political figure-certain to be playing a major role in any coalition government-endorsed Usama bin Laden, architect of the September 11 attacks."Read all of Barry Rubin's article here: http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/2011/05/04/washington-post-old-arab-order-pro-bin-laden-british-government-hamas-fatah-merger-is-great/
See also: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?ID=219338&R=R1