The Labor government has quietly dropped the language adopted by former prime minister Scott Morrison, The Guardian reported.
The Australian government has backed away from recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s policy, UK-based news outlet The Guardian reported on Monday.
The language was adopted in 2018 under the previous Conservative government, a decision widely criticized by pro-Palestinian groups.
According to the paper, the government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website previously said: “In line with this long-standing policy, in December 2018 Australia recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the seat of the Knesset and many institutions. of the Government of Israel.”
“Australia looks forward to moving its embassy to West Jerusalem, when practical, in support of and after final status determination, a two-state solution.”
The Guardian reported that the sentences had been removed from the website in the past few days.
Australia’s ruling Labor Party, then in opposition, condemned Morrison’s move as “all risk and no gain” and said it would reverse the decision.
“Recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, continuing to locate the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv is nothing more than a face-saving exercise,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said at the time.
After the United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem in May 2018, Morrison said he was open to a similar move. But his government said it would not move its embassy until a final settlement was reached on the two-state solution.
Former US President Donald Trump and his administration reversed decades of US policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv in May 2018. The current Joe Biden administration has said it has no plans to reverse the embassy move
The decision was a major blow to Palestinian statehood aspirations and angered much of the Muslim world. Jerusalem’s status has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks in multiple attempts to reach a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel occupied eastern Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed it in 1980 in violation of international law.
The Palestinian Authority wants East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state. However, Israel has repeatedly insisted that the city must remain Israel’s undivided capital.