اجعلنا صفحة البداية RSS خدمة Add to favorite Facebook Twitter

Advanced

Australia moves to soothe 'occupied' East Jerusalem anger
Published Thursday 19/06/2014 (updated) 19/06/2014 22:34
Font- Font+
(MaanImages/file)
SYDNEY (AFP) -- Australian's foreign minister met Arab and Islamic ambassadors Thursday to try to soothe concerns over Canberra's stance on East Jerusalem, insisting there was no policy change despite moves to stop referring to it as "occupied".

The meeting followed fury after Attorney-General George Brandis said the term would not be used as it carried pejorative implications and was neither appropriate nor useful.

Eighteen diplomats from countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia protested and warned of possible trade sanctions.

Australia's export trade with the Middle East accounts for billions of dollars annually, particularly in wheat and meat.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said there had been a "constructive" discussion and released a letter to the diplomats re-affirming there was no change in the government's position on the legal status of the Palestinian Territories.

"Our position is consistent with relevant UN resolutions adopted over many years, including UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338," it read.

"Senator Brandis' statement was about nomenclature, and was not a comment on the legal status of the Palestinian Territories."

While avoiding the term "occupied" altogether, it added that Australia continued to be a strong supporter of a two-state solution "with Israel and a Palestinian state existing side by side in peace and security".

The diplomats were furious with the comments on East Jerusalem, which was annexed by Israel in a move never recognized by the international community, and concerned that it was a "substantial policy shift".

The international community views all Israeli construction on land seized in 1967, including the West Bank, as illegal and a major obstacle to a negotiated peace agreement.

The head of the Palestinian delegation to Canberra Izzat Abdulhadi said he was satisfied with the way the meeting went.

"The foreign minister was very clear about it today, that, yes, East Jerusalem is occupied. She repeated it several times," he told Sky News.

Abdulhadi added that it appeared Brandis, who said Australia would no longer call East Jerusalem occupied but disputed, had overstepped the mark.

"The other important development was that she said that from now on ... the policy of Australia is declared by either herself or the prime minister only."
Print
1 ) Maureen / Australia
19/06/2014 20:52
In Australia the Abbott government is reportedly cutting funding for Indigenous Australians to the tune of 500 million over five years and has shrunk Aboriginal government sponsored programs from 26 to 5. The same Abbott gov. are creating a widening gap between rich and poor, disabled and foreign aid support. The present elected government in Australia lied to its own electorate. How can anyone believe anything they say when they speak with a forked tongue?

2 ) Aref Assaf / USA
19/06/2014 22:28
Good to see the Arab and Muslims countries taking the time out of their (un)civil wars, internal strife and otherwise, wholesale mass killings of any one in sight to force Australia's retraction. Palestine is the responsibility of not only the Palestinians but the entire Arab and Muslim world.

3 ) gabi / australia
20/06/2014 02:13
Govt. insists there is no policy change by referring to the occupied territories as disputed territories. No, and there have been no changes in pre-election promises either, almost all of which have been broken. Hardly anyone believes this govt. any more. Meanwhile, their "no change to policy" lie has infuriated a lot of people both here and abroad, by following the Israel line, because the use of the term "occupied is "not helpful". Not helpful to Israel, that is, and bugger international law.

4 ) ben Zalman / USA
21/06/2014 01:59
The "West Bank" or Judea (Yehudah) was never part of a sovereign Arab country called Palestine or anything else. Jordan along with many other Arab nations went to war with Israel and lost. The land taken from Jordan was offered to be returned for a peace treaty. Jordan accepted the treaty and rejected the return of the west bank. Where do we see anywhere in history that after a country loses a war and territory that a new country is created for its inhabitants? Its disputed territory at best.

5 ) ian / australia
21/06/2014 16:53
Yes, we currently have a feeble, incompetent, incoherent, embarrassing right wing government clearly out of its depth which won't last long. In a bizarre attempt to strut on the world stage, talk tough and bond with new BFF Canada (oy veh) in a new far-right coalition of the witless, Attorney-General Brandis has brought on this embarrassing about-face with FM Bishop (of the Death Stare) having to reassure the Arab world that the new "nomenclature" is "consistent" with "relevant UN resolutions

6 ) ian / australia
21/06/2014 16:53
(contd.) ...including...242 and 338" which it obviously isn't. (338 is a demand to implement 242 and 242, unanimous, NO abstensions, famously, calls for "withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" which obviously includes East Jerusalem making it, er, occupied, a term we are no longer using because it carries "pejorative implications" and is "neither appropriate nor useful" though TRUE.) G-d help us.
Name Country
Comment
Characters
Note: Comments will be reviewed for appropriate content. Click here for more details.

Share/Bookmark

Jerusalem Palestinian youths ready for new intifada
Qaraqe: Glick shooter 'hero' of Palestinian prisoner movement
Reconstruction material enters Gaza via Kerem Shalom

Close Next Previous
All Rights Reserved © Ma'an News Agency 2005 - 2014