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Labor party joins Abbott government in weak position on illegal settlements

Greens Leader Christine Milne has expressed disappointment at a likely split within the Labor party, on the use of the UN accepted term ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories' for the illegal settlements built after 1967, which contravene the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Labor party blocked a Greens-Xenophon motion calling on the Foreign Affairs Minister to publically acknowledge these facts.

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Greens condemn backdown on illegal settlements

Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has spoken out against the increasingly weak position of the Abbott government regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine over the occupied territories.

"This is an outrageous backdown by the Abbott government. It is inflammatory behaviour and at odds with the peace process," Senator Milne said.

"The use of the term ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories' is the accepted term used by the UN. The Israeli settlements built after 1967 are illegal. The settlements contravene the Fourth Geneva Convention.

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Rajapaksa's praise is Australia's shame

The Australian Greens are rejecting praise from a visiting member of the Rajapaksa family, saying it was not a "bold move" to withhold support from a UN war crimes investigation, but rather a shameful demonstration that Australia is appeasing the government in Sri Lanka to further Tony Abbott's domestic policies on asylum seekers.

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Op-ed: Australia must act beyond self-interest

If we needed any more evidence that a large part of the Abbott government's foreign affairs agenda is motivated purely by domestic power games over refugees, we need look no further than the current session of the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva.

A vote is due there tonight on a resolution endorsing an international investigation into war crimes and human rights abuses during the Sri Lankan civil war.

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Labor blocks Senate motion on illegal settlements

The UN General Assembly last year proclaimed 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, yet illegal settlements continue to be built on the West Bank with little criticism from Australia.

Attempting to move a motion in the Senate this week, Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said:

"It is disgraceful that when in Israel recently the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop questioned whether the unlawful settlements were in fact illegal at all.

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Australian Greens on Indonesian suspension of cooperation

The Australian Greens are deeply concerned about implications of the diplomatic crisis that continues with Indonesia.

"I am deeply disappointed and alarmed at the rate of deterioration in the relationship between Indonesia and Australia," Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"Australia and Indonesia should be building and deepening our friendship but instead Tony Abbott has allowed his cheap domestic politics of ‘stop the boats' to undermine the long-term interest of the nation.

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