First Minister calls for 'pathway to peace' in Middle East and Ukraine in New Year's message

The First Minister said like everyone else, with the end of a year and welcoming in a new one, "thoughts naturally turn to the future." Credit: First Minister Mark Drakeford @PrifWeinidog

Mark Drakeford has spoken of his hopes for 2024 in his New Year's message, the last he will make as First Minister.

He said this year will "signal a change" for him personally.

Mr Drakeford announced last month (December 2023) that he would step down in March sparking a leadership race.

The first minister said like everyone else, with the end of a year and welcoming in a new one, "thoughts naturally turn to the future."

Conflicts across the world dominated the news headlines throughout 2022 and 2023, and in his message posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), Mr Drakeford spoke of his hopes for an end to the "violence", especially in Ukraine.

He also said "efforts have to be made" to find "a pathway to a lasting peace" in the Middle East.

Mr Drakeford opened his greeting by saying "Blwydyddyn Newydd Dda. Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had a merry and peaceful Christmas.

"As another year draws to a close and we get ready to welcome 2024, our thoughts naturally turn to the future.

"It is a time for making plans for the year ahead. For making new resolutions. And for thinking about changes to come.

"This will be the last New Year’s message I make as your First Minister, as this year will signal a change for me personally.

"But until that time comes, I will be focused on this job – delivering on the promises we have made to you."

The first minister continued: "As the new year dawns, we hope for an end to the terrible conflicts and violence which have dominated this year and last, especially in Ukraine.

"The fighting must stop in the Middle East. We have to redouble our efforts to find a pathway to a lasting peace, which is fair to both Palestinians and Israelis.

"The new year is a new start and I’m sure we all have ambitions and hopes for the year ahead", Mr Drakeford added.

"Let’s hope for a peaceful 2024 and brighter happier times ahead.

"And let me wish you all a Happy New Year, Blwyddyn Newydd Dda I gyd."

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