Australia reassures Muslim countries on Palestine

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Associated Press

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 1:03 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 19 at 1:34 AM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's foreign minister has assured ambassadors from Arab and Islamic countries at a meeting in her office that her government's position on the Palestinian territories has not changed, despite the government changing its description of East Jerusalem from "occupied" to "disputed."

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop described her meeting on Thursday with envoys of up to 18 countries accredited in Canberra, including Jordon, Iraq, Iran and Egypt, as "constructive."

Attorney-General George Brandis provoked threats of trade sanctions from the Muslim world when he told a Senate committee on June 5 that Australia had dropped the term "occupied" in its description of East Jerusalem because it was "neither appropriate nor useful."

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