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Netanyahu ‘torpedoing’ Middle East peace plans: Australian ex-PM

Canberra, Feb 23: Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has accused Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu of “torpedoing” peace negotiations in the Middle East. The first Israeli PM to visit Australia, Netanyahu had earlier criticised Rudd and another former Labour Prime Minister Bob Hawke for saying that Australia should recognise a Palestinian state, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on Thursday.

Netanyahu had dismissed the remarks by both leaders, saying: “What kind of state will it be that they are advocating? A state that calls for Israel’s destruction?”

Rudd took to Facebook on Wednesday to respond to Netanyahu, and said the Israeli leader sabotaged US peace talks “by changing the goalposts” often at “five minutes to midnight”. “The boundaries, interl security, exterl security, public fince and governce of a Palestinian state have been elaborated in detail in multiple negotiations with the US under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, most recently in the Kerry Plan. Netanyahu knows these formulations like the back of his hand,” Rudd said. IANS

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Ankur Kalita