Arab League expects more balanced position from Australia on Mideast peace

Dina Ezzat , Friday 10 Dec 2010

Amr Moussa says he expects more balanced positions from Australia on Middle East peace after a meeting this afternoon with the Australian foreign minister

Amr Mousa

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, following talks with the visiting foreign minister of Australia, said that he and other top Arab officials have received clear indications from the new Australian government that "it would no longer be adopting the Israeli positions" on Middle East issues and would work to support a balanced approach towards the peaceful settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli struggle.

"We are not expecting Australia or any other country to" make a sharp U-turn on its pro-Israeli bias, but "we are looking forward for a more balanced approach that could help bring a fair and just peace to the Middle East," Moussa said.

For his part, Kevin Rudd, the foreign minister of Australia promised commitment to work in support of the two-state solution. Rudd said that Australia will use its "good and friendly" relationship with Israel to promote the cause of peace based on the two-state solution.

A joint statement issued by Moussa and Rudd, following the talks, underlined the joint Arab-Australian commitment to work for Mideast peace and the promotion of Arab-Australian relations.

The Australian FM will further discuss the challenges facing the Middle East peace process with President Hosni Mubarak, King Abdullah of Jordan, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Later today, Rudd is expected to arrive in Sinai to visit Australian members of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), established on the borders between Egypt and Israel as stipulated by the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.

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