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‘Only path to peace’: minister backs two-state solution

Australia’s support for a two-state solution in the Middle East has been reaffirmed by the foreign minister, who discussed Palestinian statehood with her German counterpart during talks.

Penny Wong said Australia and Germany shared concerns about the “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza and she had a discussion with Annalena Baerbock in Adelaide about the issue of recognition for Palestinian statehood.

The United Nations general assembly could call a vote later this month on admitting Palestine as a full UN member, although it would be a largely symbolic act given a similar bid at the UN security council in April was vetoed by the US.

Senator Wong in April declared the federal government was contemplating recognizing Palestinian statehood.

“Both Germany and Australia are deeply concerned about the loss of life, about the humanitarian catastrophe, about what is happening in Gaza,” she said after meeting a German delegation led by Ms Baerbock on Friday.

“We note that we still have hosts that are being held and all of us are seeking to add our voice for the cause of peace.

“I think we all understand that the only path out of this cycle of violence that we see in the Middle East at such great cost is one that ultimately ensures a two-state solution.

“There are different views within the international community about how that will be achieved, but it is an important discussion… about how it is we assure peace in a region that is so troubled in which we have seen so many lives lost.”

Senator Wong has made repeated calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict, but has not given a timeline for when Australia could recognize Palestinian statehood.