Christopher Pyne MP, Liberal candidate, Sturt

Thank you for your email about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and your continuing interest in this matter.  I note your strong resolve, like mine, to seeing this conflict resolved.

As mentioned to you previously, the Coalition supports the right of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples to live in peace and security within internationally recognised borders.

This can best be achieved through a two-state solution finalised by negotiation. An independent Palestinian state can only emerge from a negotiated two-state settlement, and it is vital that both parties commit to negotiations without preconditions.

Unilateral recognition will not resolve outstanding issues or create the conditions for enduring stability – a two-state solution cannot be achieved without the direct involvement and agreement of both Israel and the Palestinians.

The Coalition remains a committed supporter of the Palestinian people and their aspirations to statehood. Australian aid is a tangible demonstration of our support for the Palestinian people and the peace process. In 2015-16 Australian aid to the Palestinian Territories will total around $42.8 million, making Australia the tenth largest bilateral donor globally to the Palestinian Territories. Our assistance is helping to strengthen the economic and social foundations of a future Palestinian state, which can provide jobs and services for its people.

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