Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Riyad Al-Malki, called on today on Australia to recognize the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
During a meeting with the visiting Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Milton Dick, at the Foreign Ministry’s headquarters in Ramallah, Al-Maliki discussed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory in light of the ongoing attacks and human rights abuses against our people by the right-wing Israeli government and its racist members, including Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir.
He emphasized that the absence of international accountability for Israel’s violations and crimes encourages it to continue its unilateral measures to annex the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and to change the facts on the ground, undermining the prospects of a two-state solution with an independent, geographically contiguous Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Al-Malki expressed his astonishment at “the double international standards and the positions of some major countries that declare that Israel has the right to defend itself, even though it possesses equipment, weaponry, planes and tanks and uses them against the defenseless Palestinian people.”
He stressed that the Palestinian leadership will continue to defend our people’s right to self-determination, freedom and independence by going to the international courts and organizations to hold Israel accountable for its ongoing crimes.
In the meantime, Milton affirmed his country’s position in support of the two-state solution in accordance with international legitimacy and through negotiations. He commended the step taken by Australia’s Labor government that revoked its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing the decision taken by the previous government.
Milton also referred to the joint statement of the foreign ministers of Australia, Britain and Canada which declared settlement expansion an obstacle to achieving peace based on a two-state solution.
He stressed his country’s commitment to provide developmental and medical support to the Palestinian people, especially support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).