'Australia to vote no on Palestinian statehood'

Following Australian FM's request to abstain, PM Julia Gillard says United Nations bid not the "path to peace," according to Sydney Morning Herald.

September 22, 2011 18:22
1 minute read.
Australian PM Julia Gillard

julia gillard australian pm 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Australia will vote no on Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Wednesday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The bid, she said, was not the "path to peace."

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The Israeli government has urged Australia to vote against the establishment of a Palestinian state at the United Nations in September, as a dispute between the country’s prime minister and foreign minister on that issue remains deadlocked.

National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau expressed Israel’s position to acting Australian Foreign Minister Craig Emerson in Canberra last month. Gillard is supportive of Israel’s stance, but her Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, who is recovering from heart surgery, wants to abstain on the motion.

“I didn’t hide my disappointment at that,” Landau told The Jerusalem Post after the meeting with Emerson.

“We presented to him the stance that, if the [UN] process leads to the point where a Palestinian state is established in such a hasty manner, it will be a victory for terror and a big victory for Iran.”

Rudd wrote to Gillard in late July recommending Australia abstain from the resolution, local newspapers reported at the time. The two have an uneasy relationship; Gillard overthrew Rudd as leader of the governing center- left Labor Party in June last year, replacing him as prime minister.

Nadav Shemer contributed to this report

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