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Erekat: 'Australia has done nothing to advance two-state solution'

Dec. 15, 2018 2:10 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 18, 2018 10:28 A.M.)
(File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary General, Saeb Erekat, said, on Saturday, that Australia's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is one "wherein petty domestic politics steer irresponsible policies that contradict world peace and security."

Erekat said in a statement "From the beginning, we've perceived the Australian government's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital as one wherein petty domestic politics steer irresponsible policies that contradict world peace and security. In fact, the reference to West Jerusalem in their announcement reflects Australia's inability to go ahead as was previously announced," said Erekat in the statement.

"In his announcement, Australian PM Morrison mentioned that the decision was made in light of alleged Australian support for the two-state solution." Erekat added, "However, the policies of this Australian administration have done nothing to advance the two-state solution. In fact, Australia has chosen to join Trump, Netanyahu, and two other governments, in voting against the two-state solution, in a UN resolution supported by 156 nations. Additionally, the Australian government is refusing to recognize Palestine as a state, voting in international forums against the Palestinian right to self-determination, and continuing to trade with Israeli settlements."
Erekat stressed that all of Jerusalem remains a final status issue for negotiations, while East Jerusalem, under international law, is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory.

"Australia's announcement to open a trade office in the city negates its very claim that it abides by UN Security Council Resolution 478, which refers to Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem as null and void and calls upon countries to withdraw diplomatic missions from the city."
Erekat thanked the thousands of concerned Australian citizens, "as well as our friends worldwide, that called upon the Australian government to respect international law and the rights of the Palestinian people."
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