High-level S. Korea-Australia talks canceled amid Israel-Hamas war: Seoul official

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SEOUL, High-level talks between South Korea and Australia planned for this week have been canceled due to the Australian foreign minister's need to respond to the Israel-Hamas war, a Seoul official said Tuesday.

The two countries had scheduled to hold their so-called two-plus-two talks involving their foreign and defense ministers in Seoul on Thursday, but they have been canceled "due to circumstances on Australia's side," the government official said.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong reportedly canceled her trip to oversee the evacuation of Australian nationals from Israel amid the escalating conflict with the Hamas militant group.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles, who is visiting South Korea to attend the Seoul Defense Dialogue, plans to meet his South Korean counterpart, Shin Won-sik, for a one-on-one breakfast meeting Thursday, according to the official.

Wong wrote on social media Monday that she was postponing her planned trip to South Korea and Japan for this week.

"I will remain in Australia to lead the Government's consular, humanitarian and diplomatic response to the attacks on Israel by Hamas and the ongoing conflict," she said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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