Australia drops recognition of West Jerusalem as Israeli capital: report

‘Country is committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state co exist’

Anadolu Agency October 17, 2022
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks at the Sydney Energy Forum in Sydney, Australia July 12, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS


Australia stepped back from its earlier decision to recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and quietly dropped its recognition, according to media reports.

Australian Foreign Ministry retained the bipartisan position that Australia “is committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state co‑exist, in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders," The Guardian newspaper reported.

In 2018, then-prime minister Scott Morrison's government said it will recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but will not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement is reached.

The Morrison government also included it in the Australian policy about Israel which is now deleted by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government, which came into power in May.

“The Australian government continues to consider the final status of Jerusalem as a matter to be resolved as part of any peace negotiations,” the daily quoted a spokesperson for the Australian Foreign Ministry as saying.

However, in 2018, the incumbent Foreign Minister Penny Wong also opposed Morrison’s decision and said Labor “does not support unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and in government would reverse this decision,” according to the report.

In 2017, then-US president Donald Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing decades of the US policy of remaining neutral on the holy city.

Also read: Australian PM faces backlash over surprise shift in Israel policy

The US move has triggered widespread protests in the Palestinian territories and several countries amid condemnations from Arab and Muslim countries.

Washington’s European allies have also criticised the move, warning that the US decision would worsen relations between Palestinians and Israelis as well as spark unrest in the region.

Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as Israel’s “eternal” capital – a move never recognised by the international community.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territory" and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land to be illegal.

Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" the historic city by effacing its Arab and Islamic identity and driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.


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