Mubarak's fall shows need for Mideast 'jolt': Britain

12th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

The fall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak should act as a "jolt" to the faltering peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Saturday.

Mubarak's resignation on Friday and the "Jasmine Revolution" in Tunisia last month showed it was necessary to take action now before the situation in the Middle East changes further, said Hague.

"Perhaps one of the good things that might come from events in Egypt and Tunisia is that policymakers in Israel and among Palestinians will be jolted to see that it is vital now to take this forward because in a few years time a two-state solution will be much, much more difficult to achieve," Hague told BBC radio.

"There is some life in it but it is on life support and it will not live for many more years," added Hague, who this week visited Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

"It is vital both to Israel's long-term security and to any hope of a viable Palestinian state for both of them to make the necessary compromises.

"Sadly in recent months, neither have been ready to do so and I hope that these events will jolt them into that rather than make them more cautious about doing so."

Hague's comments came as Egypt pledged to respect the 1979 peace treaty following Mubarak's decision on Friday to quit and hand power to the military. Israel welcomed Egypt's vow.

However Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat on Saturday tendered his resignation amid deadlock in efforts to renew peace talks with Israel.

© 2011 AFP

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