LONDON (Reuters) - The crown prince of Bahrain said on Monday Britain was too pro-Israel in its outlook, but its contribution to the Middle East peace process was still needed.
“If we are to solve the Arab-Israeli issue then you cannot approach it as a friend of one side at the expense of another,” Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa told Sky television.
When asked if he felt Britain had been too pro-Israeli he replied: “I think we all feel that.”
“But that doesn’t mean we don’t want Britain’s involvement, we need Britain’s involvement and we need Britain to be more impartial, sure.”
Solving the Arab-Israeli issue was “challenging but imperative” if extremists were to be deterred, he said.
The crown prince said Britain should work with moderates in the region and avoid adding fuel to extremists’ fire.
“Work with the moderates in this part of the world, to work for peace, prosperity and stability,” he said.
To settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “you give up land for peace,” he said. “Land that you haven’t already built on. It can’t be simpler.”
The crown prince said a solution rested with the United States. The new president, Barack Obama, had given out more positive messages than his predecessor, George W. Bush, but it was too early to be optimistic.
“We will judge by actions,” he added.
The island of Bahrain is one of Britain’s closest allies in the Gulf.
Reporting by Avril Ormsby; editing by Andrew Roche