UK minister quits over 'morally indefensible' Gaza policy -UPDATED

Senior British Foreign Office Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has resigned from the UK government, saying she can no longer support the government's policy on Gaza.

UK minister quits over 'morally indefensible' Gaza policy -UPDATED

World Bulletin / News Desk

Senior British Foreign Office Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has resigned from the UK government, saying she can no longer support the government's policy on Gaza.

The Baronness revealed her decision on her official Twitter page, saying: 'With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza.'

"Our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain's national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically," Warsi, 43, said.

Britain's response to the events in Gaza was one of the factors behind the radicalisation of British Muslims, she said, citing early evidence from the Home Office. That could have consequences for years to come, she said.

Cameron, who is holidaying in Portugal with his family, said in a statement he regretted Warsi's decision to step down and thanked her for her "excellent" work.

"Our policy has always been consistently clear - the situation in Gaza is intolerable and we've urged both sides to agree to an immediate and unconditional ceasefire," he said via his spokesman.

Warsi voiced her support for the people of Gaza in several comments on Twitter over the last month, saying the Palestinians needed a "viable and secure" state. She had called for the killing of civilians to stop.

Speaking in an interview with the Huffington Post after the announcement, Warsi said she "couldn't sit silently by as the Israeli military committed acts that have been described by (U.N. Secretary-General) Ban Ki-moon as 'moral outrages' and 'criminal acts'".

Warsi,  the first Muslim to serve as a full cabinet minister, has thus become the first minister to resign from the British government 'on principle' the coalition was formed between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats in 2010.

Last week, however, Channel 4 News reported that FCO officials believed Warsi had "deep reservations and concerns about government policy" on Gaza.

A number of senior Conservative politicians have expressed concern over the Palestinian civilian death toll.

Though no longer a full member of Cabinet she still had the right to attend Cabinet meetings. It was not immediately clear whether she was resigning from both her ministerial roles.

While the British government has repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Prime Minister David Cameron has come under criticism from the opposition Labour party for refusing to describe Israel's actions as disproportionate.

Last week, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the situation in Gaza had become "intolerable".

Almost 1,900 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israeli forces began pounding the blockaded enclave with air, sea and ground assaults on July 7.

Most of those killed were civilians, around a quarter of whom were children.

Last Mod: 05 Ağustos 2014, 14:46
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