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Homechevron_rightMiddle Eastchevron_rightAustralia retracts...

Australia retracts former Govt's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Australia retracts former Govts decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israels capital

Sydney: The Australian government has reversed the previous government's decision to shift its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after recognising the latter as the capital of Israel.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said Australia is looking for the status of the city to be resolved through the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people.

Wong said that her country is committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestine coexist in peace within internationally recognized borders, at the same time implying its steadfast friendship with Israel.

The government "recommits Australia to international efforts in the responsible pursuit of progress toward a just and enduring two-state solution," she said in a statement.

Expressing its dismay over Australia's change of mind in recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Israel's Foreign Ministry said that Israel would remain untroubled by adverse decisions over the status of Jerusalem, which has been considered the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years and will continue to be the State of Israel's eternal and united capital.

The Ministry statement also said that it will summon the Australian ambassador to seek an explanation over the issue.

Talking about the retraction from its early government's decision, Penny Wong said the announcement by previous Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2018, a major shift in its long kept Middle East policy, had caused distress in many people in the Australian community.

Not only Morrison's decision was a deviation from the majority of the international community but caused many to raise concerns, including from Muslim-majority neighbour Indonesia.

"I regret that Mr Morrison's decision to play politics resulted in Australia's shifting position and the distress these shifts have caused to many people in the Australian community who care deeply about this issue," she said.

Previous Prime Minister Scott Morrison reversed decades of Middle East policy in December 2018 by saying Australia recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but would not move its embassy there immediately.

Former US President Donald Trump had recognized Jerusalem as the capital a year earlier, without elaborating on the boundaries of a city whose eastern sector — the location of major Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites — Palestinians want for their future capital.

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TAGS:Australia derecognises Jerusalem as Israeli capitalForeign Affairs Minister Penny Wong
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