In response to a recent letter (see here)  to the Minister from the AJDS, the following response has been received and the text is below and the original attached.
Senator the Hon Bob Carr
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Canberra
[9 Jan 2013]
I refer to your letter of December 5, 2012, expressing support for AustraIia’s abstention at the United Nations General Assembly on the Palestinian non-member state observer status resolution.
The Australian Govemment’s decision to abstain on the resolution balanced our long-standing support for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and their own state, with our view that the only durable basis for resolution of this conllict ts direct negotiations between israel and the Palestinians.
At the same time, the Government called on both sides not to exploit or overreact to adoption of the resolution. I was extremely disappointed by the Israeli Government’s subsequent decision to build additional housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and to unfreeze planning in the highly sensitive E1 area east of Jerusalem. Such activity threatens the viability of the two-state solution, without which there will never be security in Israel.
Australia will continue to pursue progress towards a two-state solution throughout our membership ofthe United Nations Security Council. The current stalemate is no no party’s interest and serves only to widen divisions — a point which I made strongly to both Israeli and Palestinian leaders during my August 2012 visit to the region.
Thank you for bringing your views to my attention.
Yours Sincerely
Bob Carr
bob carr02