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UK’s Cameron Threatens Scottish First Minister on Erdoğan Meeting

The British foreign secretary has threatened to withdraw its support of Scottish ministers after Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf met President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at COP28 without the United Kingdom representative.

In a letter to the Scottish National Party (SNP) government, newly appointed British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said it was a “breach of protocol” for Yousaf to have discussed Gaza and other matters with Erdoğan in Dubai on Dec. 1.

The two leaders share common grounds on Gaza, where Israeli air and ground attacks have killed nearly 18,000 Palestinians, of whom 70% are women and children, and call for an immediate cease-fire.

Cameron warned the SNP’s external affairs secretary, saying he would take a harder approach to the “breach.”

“The absence of an FCDO (Foreign Office) official at this meeting contravenes the protocols in our guidance on FCDO support to devolved government ministers’ overseas visits,” the letter shared by the BBC read.

The foreign secretary said the meeting breached devolution protocols as a U.K. official was not given “sufficient advance notice” of the location of the meeting to be able to attend.

However, a spokesperson for Yousaf told the media that a Foreign Office official had been invited but “was elsewhere at the time it was convenient for the Turkish president to meet.”

“Any threat by the U.K. Government to curtail the Scottish Government’s international engagement is misguided and would work against Scotland’s interests,” the spokesperson said.

The former Foreign Secretary James Cleverly issued a similar warning when Yousaf met the Icelandic prime minister without U.K. officials in the summer.

Yousaf has been highly critical of the U.K. government’s full support of Israel and its military invasion of the Gaza Strip.

The Scottish leader’s in-laws were trapped in Gaza for about a month before being evacuated and returning to Scotland.

The British government’s reluctance to meet or discuss the matter with Yousaf at the time was heavily criticized in Scotland.

Source: Daily Sabah