CANBERRA, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Thursday reaffirmed Australia's support for a two-state solution between Palestine and Israel, after Donald Trump became the first U.S. president to back away from the policy in more than 20 years.
Bishop told Fairfax Media that the Australian government's stance remained consistent, encouraging "both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to negotiate an outcome that would see Israelis and Palestinians living side by side, within internationally recognzsed borders, (and) in a peaceful and stable environment."
The minister's comments follow a meeting between the U.S. leader and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, after which Trump backed away from the long-held U.S. position of a two-state solution.
"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like," Trump said.
"If Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I'm happy with the one they like the best."
Meanwhile former Australian Foreign Minister and director of the Australia-China Relations Institute, Bob Carr described Trump's move as unprecedented, "astonishing" and "hugely destabilizing" - likening the potential consequences to an apartheid South Africa.
"What is the President suggesting? That the Palestinians live on something like a 19th century Navajo reservation? Or that Israel replicate the Bantustans of Apartheid-era South Africa?" Carr told Fairfax on Thursday.
"In 25 years, no one has come up with a peace deal other than a two-state solution."
The Australian opposition also condemned Trump's stance, with Labor's foreign affairs spokesperson, Senator Penny Wong declaring: "The only way to ensure peace and security for both the Israel and Palestinian peoples is an enduring and just two-state solution."