KUWAIT (Dispatches) – Osama al-Shaheen, a member of the Kuwaiti parliament, has urged British Prime Minister Liz Truss not to move the British embassy in the Israeli-occupied territories from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds.
In an interview with Middle East Eye, he warned that such a move could scupper the free trade agreement between the UK and the six countries of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (which includes Kuwait) due to be signed by the end of the year.
During a meeting with her Zionist counterpart, Yair Lapid, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly meetings in September, Truss said that she might move the British embassy to Al-Quds.
A Downing Street spokesperson added that Truss was “reviewing the current location of the embassy in Tel Aviv”.
Britain has long maintained its embassy in the occupied territories in Tel Aviv, even after the Zionist regime declared Al-Quds as its so-called capital, as part of a longstanding policy that the city’s final status should be decided following negotiations.
The Zionist regime occupied Al-Quds’ eastern neighborhoods in the 1967 Middle East war, and Palestinians maintain that East Al-Quds should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Shaheen, a prominent MP from the country’s biggest political bloc, the Islamic Constitutional Movement, said Kuwait’s parliament could respond to the move by voting against the UK-GCC free trade agreement. “If an agreement is presented to us, we must look at the positions of the governments of these countries regarding the Arab and Islamic issues when we vote,” he said.
The potential move highlighted “a blatant and continuous bias by the successive British administrations to the Israeli occupation”, he said.
Christian church leaders in Al-Quds warned last week that the British government’s plans would be a “further impediment to advancing the already moribund peace process”.
Muslim leaders in Al-Quds have written to King Charles III condemning the move, which has also been criticized by William Hague, a former leader of the now-ruling Conservative party headed by Truss.
During the Conservative party conference last week, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the secretary-general of the Arab League, urged British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly during a speech given via video link to “refrain from taking any illegal action”.