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January 18, 2013 11:19 am

Hague: 2013 Could See “A Perfect Storm” in the Middle East

avatar by Zach Pontz

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague. Photo: Financial Times.

Turmoil in the Middle East and a call for President Barack Obama to  lead the way on Israel were among comments made by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague at a lecture in Sydney, Australia on Thursday.

This year “will be a crucial year in the Middle East,” Mr Hague said while delivering the John Howard lecture at Sydney’s Menzies Research Centre.”We could see a perfect storm of crises converging if the conflict in Syria continues, the Middle East peace process remains stalled, and if Iran will not enter into meaningful negotiations over its nuclear program.”

He said that Mr Obama must lead,  and that a two-state solution be agreed on before it becomes impossible.

“We recognize the immense obstacles to the peace process, not least of all the role of Hamas in Gaza,” he said. “But still, we believe that it must be a priority for President Obama’s re-elected administration to launch a new effort to start the peace process, greater in intensity than anything seen since the Oslo Accords.”

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