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Australia Refuses To Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

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Photo via: Srikant Sahoo

The Australian Government, currently led by the Labor Party, overturned the previous Government’s decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The announcement came less than 24 hours after the Australian Government said there was “no change” to the previous administration’s policy, as the matter had not been considered at a cabinet meeting.

But on Tuesday, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, speaking after a cabinet meeting in Canberra, said Australia would no longer recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Wong said Australia would remain a strong friend to Israel and a supporter of Palestinians.

Furthermore, Wong added that Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved as part of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people. She emphasized that the Australian embassy will remain in Tel Aviv because instead of damaging the relationship that has been maintained, Australia would help commit to resolving the conflict between the two regions, where Israel and Palestine are expected to live side by side in the future in peace and security and within internationally recognized borders.

The recent decision of the Australian Government reversed former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2018, following the conclusion of the then-US president, Donald Trump, to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong regretted the move made by the Government that has put Australia out of step with the majority of the Internasional community. She said that the Australian Government’s decision at the time was a political decision that was part of former PM Morris’s bid to win a seat from the Wentworth constituency.

The Australian Government’s decision to withdraw the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel received a positive response from the Palestinian authorities. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry hailed the decision as a “positive correction to Australia’s position.”

The ministry also praised Canberra’s call to implement a two-state solution. They then urged the Australian Government to go further and recognize a Palestinian state.

On the other hand, the Israeli Government is not pleased by recent Australia’s move. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid sharply criticized Australia’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital no longer. According to him, Australia’s steps were too hasty and seemed to impose.

Lapid said his country hoped the Australian Government would take things more seriously and professionally. According to Lapid, Jerusalem will forever be Israel’s eternal capital and property, and nothing can change the situation. It is known, along with Lapid’s statement, Israel has summoned the Australian Ambassador to file a formal protest.

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