On Wednesday 15th January 2020, Forward Thinking’s Middle East team facilitated a dinner in Jerusalem, marking the beginning of a series of meetings we are organising with the Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt in the region. 

Held under Chatham House rule, the discussion brought together British, Irish, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch and UN-OCHA officials. The aim was to explore the current challenges, exchange perspectives and deepen analysis on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In addition to examining the recent political developments in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, participants reflected on the situation in the wider MENA region, discussing both immediate crisis and long-term structural issues and how these can be addressed. The evening was successful in helping to build understanding of how different countries perceive these issues and possible ways forward. 

Alistair Burt was the Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister of State at the Department for International Development from June 2017 to March 2019. He has previously held this position from May 2010 until October 2013.  Alistair also served as Minister of State for Community and Social Care at the Department of Health from May 2015 until July 2016.. He entered Parliament for the first time in 1983 and was elected Conservative MP for north east Bedfordshire in 2001. He retired from Parliament in December 2019.