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Sunak in Sweden for meetings with northern European allies

The attack by Hamas over the weekend has pushed the Middle East to the top of the global agenda.

Rishi Sunak will join northern European leaders for a summit in Sweden on Friday, with the gathering overshadowed by the dangerous conflict in Israel and Gaza.

The meeting of the UK-led defence grouping, on the Baltic island of Gotland, had been expected to see leaders focus on the threat from Russia as the war in Ukraine heads into another winter.

However, the attack by Hamas over the weekend has pushed the region to the top of the global agenda, with the Middle Eastern conflict now set to be discussed at the Joint Expeditionary Force meeting alongside Kyiv’s fight against Russia.

Ahead of his arrival in Sweden, the Prime Minister confirmed the UK would send Royal Navy vessels and surveillance aircraft to the eastern Mediterranean to support Israel.

Mr Sunak said the deployment would “support efforts to ensure regional stability and prevent further escalation”.

The Prime Minister is expected to meet with his northern European counterparts during the brief Gotland gathering.

The 10-strong Joint Expeditionary Force grouping includes Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Iceland.

The trip will also see the Prime Minister visit British warship HMS Diamond, which is on patrol in the area.

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