On December 6, a delegation representing the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Heads of Mission Group in Canberra (the Group) met with Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, at Federal Parliament House. The delegation included the Chair of the Group, H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, the incoming Chair, H.E. the Ambassador of Algeria, and H.E. the Ambassador of the State of Palestine.
The delegation delivered a statement from the Group addressing significant issues related to the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza and the catastrophic humanitarian situation that the Palestinian people are being subjected to. In particular, the delegation called on Australia to support and promote an immediate, complete and permanent ceasefire as a prerequisite to provision of sustained and unhindered humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in Gaza.
In response, Foreign Minister Wong stated that Australia had already conveyed its strongest language on a ceasefire.
The Palestinian Ambassador also expressed appreciation to Australia for granting visitor visas for Palestinians in Gaza to come to safety in Australia, but underlined growing concerns that only a small number of individuals with approved Australian visas have actually been able to leave Gaza.
In response, the Foreign Minister stated that Australia is not in a position to assist all Australian visa holders to leave Gaza, and that Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family members will be prioritized.