Published:

William Hague: "It will be no surprise to the Foreign Secretary that I agree with
the tone and general direction of much of what he had to say, although
one would never have thought that it was the speech of someone who
thought we talked too much about Europe. Like him, we recognise that
these are important days for the long-stalled middle east peace
process. We support, as he does, the vision set out in the road map of
a Palestinian state alongside Israel, both at peace, both prosperous
and neither threatening the other’s security. The conference in
Annapolis later this month is the best opportunity in years to relaunch
negotiations on a final settlement and we trust the Government will use
British standing and relationships to the full to urge the fullest
possible support of, and attendance at, the conference.

We
await with interest the Prime Minister’s speech on international
affairs this evening. The Foreign Secretary will forgive my hon.
Friends and me for waiting to see whether all the varied comments of
Lord Malloch Brown have been incorporated into the text. The noble Lord
has described himself, modestly of course, as the “wise eminence behind the young Foreign Secretary.”

It
must be so comforting to the Foreign Secretary to have that presence.
He has said today in defence of his colleague that we must judge him by
his actions rather than his words, which is what we all say about
people who have made a string of verbal blunders. Unfortunately,
according to The Sunday Times “Gordon” will not be brave
enough to sack him, which is all too believable after all the other
things the Prime Minister has not been brave enough to do over the last
few weeks, including calling a general election."

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