18 Former Middle East diplomats urge PM to reject Trump Middle East plan

As the Kushner lead Bahrain workshop begins, diplomats jointly warn against Trump’s partisanship, which goes against the grain of the international community, and damages any prospects for real peace.

Excerpts from the letter include:

Under President Trump, the United States appears to have decided to turn away from its longstanding goal of achieving a two-state solution, an approach that Australia and the great majority of the international community have supported for the past 25 years.

What is now obvious to us all – is that Israel simply has not been prepared to entertain the notion of the existence of a viable independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

For our own reputation and in recognition of our national interests, Australia should not support a United States initiative which excludes the Palestinians and blatantly excuses Israel from an eventual requirement to make the compromises necessary for peace.

Click here to read full letter

Signatories include:

Grant Battersby, First Secretary, Israel 1983 -1985

Dr Anthony Billingsley, former Australian diplomat

Dr Bob Bowker, Ambassador to Jordan 1989-92, and Egypt 2005-2008

Dr Ken Chan AM, former Australian diplomat and Administrator of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands 1983-85.

John Fennessy, Ambassador to Lebanon 1999-2002

Dr Janet Gardiner, Ambassador to Syria 1998-1999, Ambassador to Portugal 2000-2004

Bruce Haigh, Deputy Head of Mission in Saudia Arabia, the Gulf States, the Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 1982-88

James Ingram AO, FAIIA, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines 1970-73; High Commissioner to Canada 1973-74; Executive Director, UN World Food Programme 1982-92.

Christopher Lamb, Australian Ambassador to Myanmar 1986-89 and to Yugoslavia, Macedonia and Romania 1997-2000

Don McFeat, former DFAT officer

John Menadue AO, Ambassador to Japan 1976-1980

Robert Newton, Ambassador to Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Sudan 2002 – 2005

Professor Richard Rigby, Ambassador to Israel 2000-2001

Peter Rodgers, Ambassador to Israel 1994-97

John Tilemann, Ambassador to Jordan 2001-5

Robert Tyson, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia 2001-05, Russia 2005-08, Iraq 2008-11, Kuwait 2011-15

Michael Wood, Australian Consul General in Chicago 2015-2018

Peter Zoller, former Australian diplomat