Tuesday Jun 24, 201406:10 AM GMT
Iran calls in Australian envoy over stance on Israel
This file photo shows Iranian Foreign Ministry building.
This file photo shows Iranian Foreign Ministry building.
Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:26AM
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The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Australian ambassador to Tehran following Canberra’s decision to stop referring to Israeli-annexed East al-Quds as “occupied.”

On Monday, Director General of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Office for Middle East and North Africa Reza Ameri asked Paul Foley to relay Tehran’s objection to Canberra over the Australian attorney general’s recent stance on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

The Iranian official also called on the Australian government to review the decision to drop the term “occupied” when referring to illegal Israeli settlements in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

“Documents and international conventions on Palestine… emphasize the [Israeli] occupation of al-Quds,” added Ameri.

Earlier this month, Australian Attorney General George Brandis said Canberra would no longer refer to East Jerusalem (al-Quds) as “occupied,” 47 years after Israel seized al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967 and later annexed it. The move has never been recognized by the international community.

Brandis said using the word “occupied” was not “useful” and it would not contribute to the talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

During the Monday meeting, Foley provided explanations about the Australian attorney general’s statements.

The Australian envoy also said he would convey Tehran’s views to the authorities in his country.

On June 8, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry called in Australia’s diplomatic representative Thomas Wilson over the remarks by the attorney general.

On June 19, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met with Arab and Islamic ambassadors to soothe concerns over Canberra’s stance on East al-Quds, reaffirming there was no policy change despite the move to stop describing it as “occupied.”

MKA/HSN/HRB

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