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Australia to consider recognising Palestinian state, FM says

April 9, 2024 at 2:05 pm

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong in Melbourne, Australia on March 06, 2024 [Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images]

Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Canberra would consider recognition of a Palestinian state, a shift in policy, Reuters reports.

In a speech today, Wong backed comments by Britain’s Foreign Minister David Cameron who has said that recognising a Palestinian state, including at the United Nations, would make a two-state solution irreversible.

Wong said the international community is discussing Palestinian statehood “as a way of building momentum towards a two-state solution”.

“A two-state solution is the only hope to break the endless cycle of violence,” she said, speaking at the Australian National University.

The so-called two-state solution has long been the basis for international peace efforts to resolve the long Israel-Palestinian conflict, but the process has been stalled for a decade even before the present war which Israel has launched on Gaza.

Palestinians aspire to having an independent state in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – occupied by Israel since 1967 – and including Gaza.

Israel on Sunday formalised its opposition to what it called the “unilateral recognition” of Palestinian statehood, and said any such agreement must be reached through direct negotiations.

Spain is among other Western countries pushing for such recognition and is a main proponent of such a move within the European Union.

The Palestinian Authority last week formally asked for renewed consideration by the United Nations Security Council of its 2011 application to become a full member of the world body. The Palestinians are a non-member observer state at the United Nations.

The United Nations Security Council president yesterday referred the Palestinian Authority’s application to become a full UN member to the admission committee.

Wong said “those who claim recognition is rewarding an enemy” were wrong because Israel’s own security depends on a two-state solution.

“There is no long-term security for Israel unless it is recognised by the countries of its region,” she said.

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