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Australia Reverses Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital


Australia Drops the Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

Tue 18 Oct 2022 | 11:39 PM
Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Former Prime Minister of Israel  Benjamin Netanyahu
Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Former Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu
Israa Farhan

On Tuesday, Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong said her country has dropped a previous government's recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel's capital, prompting consternation from Israel.

The cabinet of the center-left Labor Party agreed to once again recognize Tel Aviv as the capital and emphasized that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved in peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, according to Wong.

Wong said Australia remained committed to a bilateral solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and "we will not support an approach that undermines this prospect."

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid expressed his disappointment at Australia's change of position.

"Jerusalem is the eternal undivided capital of Israel and nothing will change that,” Lapid said in a statement.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that it would summon the Australian ambassador over the issue.

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison formally recognized West Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2018, although the Australian embassy remained in Tel Aviv.

Wong described Morrison's move as out of step international and a "cynical play" for winning the by-election in a Sydney locality with a large Jewish population.

Morrison's Liberal Party was led by Jewish candidate Dave Sharma, who was defeated in the by-election but won the seat in the following general election.