Liberal Democrats

F35a: A Holistic Pathway to Peace in the Middle East

This motion develops and updates policy on the latest situation in the Middle East. Existing policies are set out in policy motions The Arab Awakening (2011), Gaza (2009), and Israel and the Palestinian Territories (2007).


F35: A Holistic Pathway to Peace in the Middle East (Emergency Motion)

Conference condemns:

A. The sectarian violence and terror that the so-called Islamic State is spreading in Iraq and Syria.

B. The systematic kidnapping for ransom or execution of foreign nationals by the so-called Islamic State, including a number of British citizens.

C. The recent conflict between Israel and Gaza, in particular the indiscriminate firing of thousands of rockets into Israel by Hamas, Israel's disproportionate military response and the high number of civilian casualties.

D. The recent decision by the Israeli government to annex more land in the West Bank for development of settlements which are illegal under international law.

E. The continued violent suppression of democratic dissent by President Assad of Syria and the resulting humanitarian catastrophe including the use of barrel bombs.

Conference notes with concern:

i) The severity of the humanitarian disasters that have been created by conflicts and instability in the region.

ii) The strain that the refugee crises are putting on countries in the region, in particular the strain on Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

iii) The potential for these humanitarian crises to result in further sectarian division, radicalisation at home and abroad and ongoing violence.

Conference welcomes:

a) The Department for International Development's continued commitment to providing humanitarian aid to all those who are suffering in the region, in particular the continued assistance to the millions of refugees and displaced people.

b) The Deputy Prime Minister's leadership in the government's commitment to providing asylum in the UK for some of the most vulnerable refugees from the region.

Conference further welcomes the Israeli government's decision to end import restrictions on humanitarian goods and some construction materials into Gaza.

Conference calls on the UK government to:

1. Continue to work closely with our international allies to stop the spread of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and beyond.

2. Support the struggling democratic institutions in Iraq and bolster liberalism and inclusiveness in its government.

3. Ensure that if we are to extend military activity to Syria that it is legal under international law, has clear and achievable objectives, has Middle East regional support, includes a comprehensive and well-resourced post-conflict stabilisation strategy agreed with the international community and is authorised by a vote of the House of Commons.

4. Apply continued pressure on the Israeli government to cease its illegal acquisition of land in the West Bank.

5. Encourage the European Union to recognise the State of Palestine within pre-1967 borders and with land swaps agreed by the Israeli and Palestinian authorities through peace negotiations in good faith on the basis of each side's entitlements under international law.

6. Continue to work for freedom of belief, toleration between different faiths, and protection of minorities.

7. Support programmes in Arab countries aimed at encouraging democracy, freedom of speech, human rights, the rule of law and crony-free economic liberalisation.

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