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Paris Middle East Peace Conference - Dr. Saeb Erekat's comments and the position of Australia

Paris Middle East Peace Conference - Dr. Saeb Erekat's comments and the position of Australia

16 January 2017 in 2017
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The Embassy of the State of Palestine in Canberra welcomes the concluding statement of the Paris Middle East Peace Conference. The statement reaffirmed the two-state solution as the only way to achieve a sustainable peace, emphasised the importance for the parties to restate their commitment to this solution, and reiterated that this solution must fully end the occupation that began in 1967 and satisfy Palestinians' right to statehood and sovereignty. 

Dr. Saeb Erekat commented that "We welcome today's Statement by the Paris Peace Conference, which stressed the need to end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 as per international law and international legitimacy resolutions; including the recent Security Council Resolution 2334. 

We appreciate the participation of each and every country and their commitment to the right of our people to establish our independent sovereign state to live side-by-side in peace and security alongside Israel.  They have again created a momentum in rejection to the Israeli occupation and its settlement enterprise on the land of Palestine. It's a message to Israel, the occupying power, to abide by international law and international humanitarian law and to end its military occupation of Palestine towards the achievement of peace and stability in the region and the world. It is time to stop dealing with Israel as a country above the law and to hold it accountable for its systematic violations of international law and the rights of our people. 

We call upon France to immediately recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We also call upon all participating countries in today's conference, including European countries and the United States of America, which all have continuously supported the importance of the two-state solution as the only viable solution, to recognize Palestine in line with their recognition of Israel and their strong position to preserve the two-state solution."

The Embassy of the State of Palestine in Canberra welcomes the participation of Australia in the conference. However, as reported by the ABC, unfortunately Australia has distanced themselves from the concluding statement made in Paris. A spokesperson for the Australian Foreign Minister's office stated that "while the Australian Government was represented at the Paris conference, this does not mean we agree with every element of the final statement". This comes after discouraging statements made by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull regarding the recent United Nations Security Council resolution 2334, which strongly condemned illegal Israeli settlement expansion. 

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