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Monday, 14 August 2017
Page: 8199

Palestine

Dear Mr Vasta

Thank you for your letter of 13 February 2017 regarding the petition to formally recognise the 'State of Palestine', as submitted to the Standing Committee on Petitions for consideration (reference number PN0025).

The Australian Government is a strong supporter of a two-state solution that would allow Israel and a future Palestinian state to exist side-by-side in peace and security within internationally recognised borders. We firmly believe that an independent Palestinian state can only emerge from a directly negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Australia has repeatedly encouraged both sides to take the courageous steps necessary to resume direct negotiations as soon as possible in order to achieve this.

Australia is a long-standing supporter of the Palestinian people. In 2016 - 17, Australia will provide approximately $43 million through our aid program to the Palestinian Territories. Our assistance is helping to strengthen the economic and social foundations of a future Palestinian state which can provide jobs and services for its people.

I trust this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely

from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Bishop