British FM lauds Saudi efforts on Mideast peace


Miliband, who has just returned from a visit to the Middle East including a rare stop for a British leader in Syria, said he "shared with him my impressions from my visit this week."

"A comprehensive peace settlement has never been more necessary for both Israelis and Palestinians," he added in a statement released by the Foreign Office.

"I commended the Saudi government for their support for a peaceful resolution of this conflict, including through the Arab Peace Initiative," he said.

Saudi Arabia brokered an agreement between Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s secular Fatah party and the Islamist movement Hamas in February 2007 which led to the formation of a short-lived unity government.

Tensions between the two sides led to fierce fighting which resulted in Hamas taking over the Gaza Strip in June last year, the dismissal of the Hamas-led unity government and the formation of a Western-backed cabinet in the West Bank.

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