Europe must contain wars in Ukraine and Gaza before next US president is sworn in, David Cameron warns

7 March 2024, 20:56 | Updated: 7 March 2024, 23:58

Europe must do everything in its power to contain the wars in Ukraine and Gaza ahead of the swearing-in of the next US president, Lord Cameron has warned
Europe must do everything in its power to contain the wars in Ukraine and Gaza ahead of the swearing-in of the next US president, Lord Cameron has warned. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

Europe must do everything in its power to contain the wars in Ukraine and Gaza ahead of the swearing-in of the next US president, Lord Cameron has warned.

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Speaking at a press conference in Berlin with his German counterpart, the British Foreign Secretary called on Europe's leader to act and leave the two conflicts in the "best possible place" in time for either a change of power or Joe Biden's second swearing-in.

It comes as former President Donald Trump appeared to be the Republican Party's defacto candidate following primary success on Super Tuesday, and the campaign suspension of rival Nikki Haley.

Lord Cameron has previously criticised Mr Trump for his approach to Russia's war in Ukraine after the former president said he would "encourage" the Kremlin to attack any Nato allies who he did not consider to meet their military spending obligations.

The former Conservative prime minister - who made a shock comeback to frontline politics when he took over the foreign office last year - urged nations to prove their "strength" to whoever wins the US presidency.

Lord Cameron, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, outside 10 Downing Street in Westminster, Wednesday
Lord Cameron, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, outside 10 Downing Street in Westminster, Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

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Addressing the press conference in Berlin, Lord Cameron said: “What we should do in the next eight months is make sure that whichever dossier we’re talking about - whether we move towards a peace process in the Middle East or whether it’s this vital fight for Ukraine [against] Russian aggression - we want to get these things in the best possible place by the time of the US election.

“So whoever is the victor in that contest can see that ... we’re working in partnership [and] have moved those onto the best possible plane they can be,” he added.

Mr Trump was previously accused by Lord Cameron of not taking a "sensible approach" to defence policy - drawing attacks from the Republican's loyal supporters.

The foreign secretary earlier this month urged the US Congress to pass a bill approving additional aid to Ukraine - likening any refusal to grant aid with "weakness displayed to Hitler".

In response to his comments, far-Right Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene - who has a long history of spouting conspiracy theories - told Lord Cameron to "kiss my ass".

Donald Trump speaks at a Super Tuesday election night party Tuesday, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida
Donald Trump speaks at a Super Tuesday election night party Tuesday, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Picture: Alamy

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Addressing the conflict in Gaza specifically, Lord Cameron urged Hamas to accept the hostage deal on offer after its delegation left talks in Cairo without a deal for a Gaza ceasefire.

Asked whether the UK is doing enough to pressure Israel to allow aid into Gaza, the Foreign Secretary told a press conference in Berlin: "I think the Israelis have to really understand that this is on the brink of being a desperate situation in terms of disease and famine, and so the time for doing more is now.

"We also need to make sure that at the same time as saying that, we say to Hamas that they should release these hostages...

"In all the thoughts we have about the aid getting into Gaza, and I would argue no-one is doing more than Britain and Germany to pile that pressure on, let's remember that there's a group of people that could stop this conflict right now. And that is Hamas.

"They could sign up to this hostage deal. They could release the hostages, they could in fact lay down their weapons and leave Gaza, and give the Palestinian people a chance to have a proper future.

"We mustn't ever forget that there is something they could do, as well as putting this pressure on the Israelis which is absolutely necessary."

President Joe Biden speaks at the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday
President Joe Biden speaks at the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday. Picture: Alamy

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Turning to the situation in Ukraine, Lord Cameron told the press conference that peace will be achieved by "helping the Ukrainians deliver what they need on the battlefield".

On suplying Ukraine with medium and longer-range missiles, he said: "It's a sovereign decision for every country. But in terms of what Britain has done, I know that what we have given to the Ukrainians has helped them to resist this appalling invasion.

"To all those in Germany and beyond and around the continent, around the world, who want to see an end to this conflict, who want to see a peaceful settlement, who want to see peace on our continent, I absolutely agree that you get peace through strength.

"You get peace by demonstrating that Putin cannot win, you get peace by helping the Ukrainians deliver what they need on the battlefield."

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