Hon Tony Burke MP Member for Watson, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Tony Burke, welcomed the announcement that Australia will not stand in the way of enhanced status for Palestinians in the UN
November 29, 2012
Member for Watson, Tony Burke, welcomed the announcement that Australia will not stand in the way of enhanced status for Palestinians in the United Nations.
“I have always been supportive of the two-state solution and I have argued for that in every forum,” Mr. Burke said.
“I'm fully supportive of the position taken by the Prime Minister who showed real leadership in listening to the views of the community and the caucus.
“When the Question of Palestine resolution comes forward later this week, Australia will abstain.
“If we were to vote against this resolution we would be undermining Australia’s traditional support for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to self-determination and a state of their own.
“I know this is an important issue for our community, I have already been contacted by local residents congratulating the Government.”
Tony Abbott supporters in the Parliament today alleged a “pan-Arab invasion of Israel” was contemplated by the Palestinian Authority.
Senator Barnaby Joyce, Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, said: “What reassurances has the government received from the Palestinian Authority that there is no longer favour of a pan-Arab invasion of Israel” and labelled a vote on Palestinian non-member state observer status at the UN as “oxymoronic”.
It is clear the Liberals are opposed to a Palestinian state.
Tony Burke said that the Coalition had criticised the Government’s decision to abstain in the vote.
“Tony Abbott and the Coalition are clearly trying to encourage hatred and division,” Mr Burke said.
“This is the absolute opposite to what our community has been working towards.”
Member nations of the UN are expected to vote on the Palestinian observer status resolution on Thursday, November 29 (New York time). If passed, it would accord non-member Observer state status in the UN to the Palestinian Authority.
The Foreign Minister, Senator Carr, will be meeting with members of the Palestinian community in Sydney on Friday night.