Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said a government under his leadership would recognise a Palestinian state “very early on” and push hard for a political solution to the Syrian war.
Corbyn made the comments as he visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan on Friday, where he said the UK must do more to bring an end to the war in Syria and that London should join forces with the European Union for refugee resettlements.
“Politically we need to be doing a great deal more to try and bring about a ceasefire and an end to the war in Syria,” Corbyn said. “The abuse of human rights, the destruction of lives, the destruction of society, is appalling by any stretch of the imagination. And refugees are now in all neighbouring countries and of course in Turkey, and in Greece and across Europe.”
The Labour leader also said the UK should end its “bomb first, talk later” policy.
With a population of 83,000 refugees, Zaatari camp is Jordan’s biggest refugee camp. It houses mostly Syrians who have fled the civil war. Jordan is currently home to more than 580,000 UN-registered Syrian refugees although the true number of refugees is much higher.
Only 20 percent of them stay in camps, while the remaining 80 percent live in urban areas throughout the country, according to the UN refugee agency.
More than 6 million Syrians have fled civil war in their homeland, with a majority finding refuge in neighboring host countries such as Jordan. Hundreds of thousands more have migrated onward to Europe, with Germany taking in the bulk.
Corbyn said Britain could do much more to shelter Syrian refugees, particularly unaccompanied children, arguing that the government’s quota of 20,000 refugees is “very, very small compared to any other European country.”
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Corbyn said the Trump administration’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US Embassy there was a “catastrophic mistake.”
“I think there has to be a recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people to their own state which we as a Labour Party said we would recognise in government as a full state as part of the United Nations,” he said.