Australia drops recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Australia has rescinded a previous government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the foreign minister said on Tuesday.
The cabinet of the center-left Labor Party government agreed to re-recognize Tel Aviv as the capital and reaffirmed that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved within the framework of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the minister said of Foreign Affairs Penny Wong.
Australia remains committed to a two-party solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and we will not support an approach that undermines that prospect, Wong said.
Former Conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison formally recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2018, although the Australian embassy remained in Tel Aviv.
The move follows then-US President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Joe Biden has retained the embassy in Jerusalem as the United States withdraws from its once intense mediation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, who have not held substantive peace talks in more than a decade.
Wong described Morrison’s move as internationally offbeat and a cynical attempt to win a by-election in a Sydney locality with a large Jewish population.
Morrison’s Liberal Party fielded Jewish candidate Dave Sharma who was defeated in the by-election but won the seat in the next general election.
The Morrison government was removed from office in May after nine years in power.
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