Australia will consider recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and shifting its embassy there from Tel Aviv, Australia’s Prime Minister said on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector that it annexed after the 1967 Middle East war, as its capital.
Australia mulls recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving embassy, reports say https://t.co/k3qb7KlGYR
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) October 15, 2018
Last December, US President Donald Trump reversed decades of US policy by recognizing Jerusalem, enraging the Palestinians and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies.
Australia was firm in its refusal to follow suit at the time, however, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in parliament he was now “open-minded” about doing so, while not changing Australia’s policy of support for a Palestinian state.
#Australia will reconsider its support for #Iran’s nuclear deal and is open to recognizing #Jerusalem as #Israel’s capital and shifting its embassy there, Australia’s Prime Minister said on Tuesdayhttps://t.co/R2aa1iIyLz
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) October 15, 2018
“The orthodoxy that’s driven this debate which says issues like considering the question of the capital are taboo. I think we have to challenge that.”
“The whole point of a two-state solution is two nations recognized living side by side,” he added, saying he was open to the suggestion from Dave Sharma, Australia’s former ambassador to Israel, that Australia supports West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and East Jerusalem as Palestine’s.
“No decision has been made in regarding the recognition of a capital or the movement of an embassy … but at the same time, what we are simply doing is being open to that suggestion.”
Australia will consider recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv, PM @ScottMorrisonMP says.
If acted upon, the move will follow a recent policy shift by the US that has drawn criticism internationally. https://t.co/39Z7QBHZG5
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 16, 2018
The US Embassy became the only foreign embassy in Jerusalem in May, and Guatemala and Paraguay followed Washington’s lead days later and also moved their embassies, although Paraguay returned its mission to Tel Aviv last month. Israel closed its embassy in Asuncion in response.
Australia’s PM says he is "open" to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving its embassy there.
The U.S., Paraguay and Guatemala all moved their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, although Paraguay's new government has already moved it back. pic.twitter.com/K9dz5dcEC9
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 15, 2018
The Palestinians, with broad international backing, want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state that they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Peace talks between the parties broke down in 2014.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has attempted to persuade other countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem.
( MEMO, PC, Social Media)