Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Middle East statement

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi repeated a statement made earlier in the Commons by Foreign Secretary William Hague on the situation in the Middle East, on 20 November 2012.

The current conflict in Gaza began on 14 November, when Israel launched a military offensive against Gaza and killed Hamas's military commander, saying it wanted to end rocket attacks on Israel.

More than 110 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed so far.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, a year after winning a decisive victory in general elections. Israel withdrew from the strip in 2005 but maintains a blockade around it.

Syria announcement

During the statement, Foreign Secretary William Hague told MPs that the UK has decided to recognise the Syrian opposition coalition.

He said the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was the "sole legitimate representative" of the Syrian people, and were now a "credible" alternative to the Assad government.

In the absence of a diplomatic solution, he told MPs the UK would not rule out any action - subject to international law - to save lives.

Up to 30,000 people have been killed in the 18-month conflict, the UK believes.


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