PLO hits out at Australia and Britain
THE Palestine Liberation Organisation has criticised Australia and Britain over their refusal to support a declaration from an international conference in Paris on peace in the Middle East.
The Paris Declaration reaffirmed support for a two-state solution and called for a halt to violence and "ongoing settlement activity”.
It also welcomed last month's UN Security Council resolution that declared Israeli settlements violated international law and called on Israel to immediately cease all settlement activity.
PLO executive committee Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said in a statement: "We regret and denounce the reservations made by the United Kingdom and Australia to the final statement of the Paris Peace Conference.”
Although Australia - along with ministers and diplomats from 70 nations - supported the conference declaration, the office of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement: "While the Australian Government was represented at the Paris conference, this does not mean we agree with every element of the final statement.
"The most important priority must be a resumption of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians for a two-state solution as soon as possible.”
Mr Erekat described the reservations of Britain and Australia as "groundless” and called upon both countries to "correct this mistake”.