April 4, 2008 - 6:25pm

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Wednesday praised Israel's achievements over the 60 years of its existence, but said the "small country's" future depends above all on "the creation of a new and viable Palestinian state, alongside a secure Israel."

Addressing the annual Easter Banquet at Mansion House, London on Wednesday, the foreign secretary said that Israel's 60th anniversary was "an opportunity for us all to recognize the achievements - in democratic governance, science, culture and business."

He added that 2008 "is also an opportunity for us to acknowledge once again that true security for the people of Israel can only be realized when the Palestinians' own legitimate aspirations for statehood are met in their turn."

He went on to say that "Israel's future depends on it having normal relations with its neighbors," adding that the United Kingdom will continue to support the efforts to achieve security in the region.

"Instability in the Middle East says much about how warfare has changed in recent years. Whilst the risk of a military conflict between the great powers has receded, today we are witnessing more conflict within states," noted the Foreign Secretary.

Miliband also gave an overview on his foreign policy outlook, saying "we must focus on preventing conflict and intervening before problems escalate," adding that in his view, some of the main risks that cause such conflicts are economic inequalities, ethnic tensions and competition for scarce natural resources. "We need to help countries become more resilient to those risks," he said.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017