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Friday, January 27, 2023

Australia Withdraws Its Recognition of West Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

This reverses the Morrison government's declaration of West Jerusalem as Israel's capital

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

AUSTRALIA. Sydney: Australia said on Tuesday that it will no longer recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, overturning a decision made by the administration of former Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2018.

At a press conference, Foreign Minister Penny Wong confirmed it by saying the capital’s official status should not be decided until the Palestinian people’s side agreed to the terms of the peace talks.

Wong says that the Australian government has reaffirmed Australia’s previous and long-standing position that Jerusalem is a final status issue that should be handled as part of any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people.

This reverses the Morrison government’s declaration of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv will remain there, and Canberra is committed to a two-state solution “in which Israel and a future Palestinian state live in peace and security, inside internationally recognised borders,” as stated by Wong.

“We will not support a strategy that thwarts this prospect,” she continued.

One of the main issues preventing Israel and the Palestinians from reaching a peace agreement is the status of Jerusalem.

Israel views the entire city, including the eastern sector it annexed following the Middle East war in 1967, as its capital.

In contrast, Palestinian officials, who enjoy widespread support from the international community, want occupied East Jerusalem to serve as the capital of a future state they intend to establish in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In 2018, a conservative Australian government under Scott Morrison followed former US president Donald Trump in designating West Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The action sparked a political reaction in Australia and strained relations with neighbouring Indonesia, the world’s most populous country with a Muslim majority, temporarily derailing a free trade agreement.

“I know this has caused disagreement and distress in some of the Australian community, and today the government attempts to rectify that,” Wong said.

Wong expressed sadness that Australia’s position had changed as a result of Morrison’s political manoeuvring.

She continued by saying that “the administration of Anthony Albanese would recommit Australia to global initiatives for enduring two-state solution.”

The statement added that Australian officials are “equally unwavering advocates of the Palestinian people” and that Australia would “always be a steadfast friend of Israel.”

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