Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thanked Qatar for its help in attempting to secure the release of British nationals held hostage by Hamas.

Mr Sunak agreed with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, that the pair should keep “in close contact” in their efforts to “end the torment of the victims and their families”.

“The Prime Minister thanked Qatar for their efforts to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas two weeks ago, including British nationals,” Downing Street said following the meeting between the two leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“He said the UK Government would use all the tools at our disposal to support these efforts and end the torment of the victims and their families.”

The pair also “underlined the imperative of avoiding any escalation in the violence across the region” and the “urgent need” to get humanitarian aid into Gaza, the spokesperson added. 

“The leaders agreed that the loss of civilian life following Hamas’s attacks was shocking and tragic.”

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