It is official: Australia Drops Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

In a move that is expected to rattle Tel Aviv, Australia has decided to drop its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, The Guardian reported.

The move is a reversal of a previous policy that was adopted by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

After initial uncertainty, the Australian newspaper, the Financial review confirmed the news. It reported on Tuesday that “the Albanese government will reverse the previous government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Foreign Minister Penny Wong has announced.”

Wong also told reporters that “the Australian government remains committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state can coexist in peace and security within internationally recognized borders. We will not support an approach that undermines this prospect.”

Wong comments followed news that in the past few days, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs removed from its website references to its recognition of West Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Specifically, it has deleted two sentences that were first added after Morrison unveiled a new Australian policy four years ago.

The deleted sentences read: 

“Consistent with this longstanding policy, in December 2018, Australia recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of the Israeli government.”

“Australia looks forward to moving its embassy to West Jerusalem when practical, in support of, and after the final status determination of, a two-state solution.”

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wong had said in 2018 that Labor “does not support unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”. She added that  “in government, (the Labor) would reverse this decision”. 

However, the language remained on the website as recently as last week.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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