Australia Foreign Minister says “world should support” alternatives to two-state solution

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Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop suggested Thursday that Australia would be open to alternatives to the two-state solution [Israel GPO]
Australia may be open to alternatives to a two-state solution, and so should the rest of the world, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop suggested Thursday.

“The two sides need to sit down and negotiate a resolution – it can’t be imposed from outside,” Bishop told Australia’s Sky News, according to Times of Israel. 

At the same time, Bishop said that if there was “another solution that they were prepared to live with, that ensured the Israelis and Palestinians could live side by side, together, between internationally recognized boundaries, then of course the world should support that.”

Bishop’s comments were made after a meeting in Washington Wednesday between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump. During the joint conference, Trump expressed openness regarding a one-state solution, raising alarm bells among liberal Jewish leaders and the Palestinian Authority, while stoking the excitement of right-wing Israeli lawmakers over the possible ending of the two-state solution.

“I’m looking at two states and one state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said in the conference.

When pressed on Palestinian resistance to the idea of a one-state solution, Bishop noted Thursday that the Palestinians must “recognize that the State of Israel exists and will continue to exist,” though she did not specify whether this entailed acceptance of a one-state solution.

In January, Bishop voiced “concern” over Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and said the Australian government would “continue to call on both sides to avoid unilateral action that diminish the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution.”

In December, Bishop said Australia would not have supported UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlements. (Australia was ineligible to vote due to not being a member of the UN Security Council.)

“In voting at the UN, the Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel,” Australia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement at the time. 

02/16/2017 4:13 PM by Menachem Rephun

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