Humza Yousaf. Photo: Scottish government

International news

In a significant political move, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf has urged the United Kingdom to officially recognize the State of Palestine. This appeal is seen as an effort to break the long-standing deadlock that has perpetuated cycles of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

First Minister Yousaf communicated this request through a letter addressed to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

With a focus on resolving the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, the letter was also sent to Sir Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition in the UK Parliament.

This correspondence comes just before a crucial debate in the Scottish Parliament, scheduled for Tuesday, 21 November, centered on the situation in the Middle East. The First Minister plans to lead this debate, which will address a Government motion. The motion not only condemns the atrocities committed by Hamas on 7 October but also calls for the release of hostages and urges all involved parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

Yousaf's call for the UK's recognition of Palestine reflects a proactive stance in international diplomacy, aiming to use the UK's influence to foster peace in the region. The move signals a potential shift in the UK's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, highlighting the urgent need for a sustainable solution that addresses the rights and safety of both Israelis and Palestinians.

This development marks a pivotal moment in Scotland's foreign policy engagement and underscores the First Minister's commitment to advocating for peace and stability in the Middle East. The debate in the Scottish Parliament is expected to further discuss the UK's role in this international issue and the potential impact of recognizing the State of Palestine.