Government to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but keeps embassy in Tel Aviv
The Australian Government will recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel but will not immediately move its embassy from Tel Aviv.
- The Federal Government has ended a long-standing policy of recognising Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel
- Prime Morrison Scott Morrison is expected to acknowledge the aspirations of Palestinians for a future state with its capital in East Jerusalem
- Palestinians reacted with dismay when Mr Morrison first floated moving the embassy
It is understood Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce the decision during a speech in Sydney today.
He is also expected to acknowledge the aspirations of Palestinians for a future state with its capital in East Jerusalem.
Mr Morrison, in the final days of the Wentworth by-election, announced he was reviewing Australia’s long-standing policy of recognising Tel Aviv as the capital, where the embassy is located.
At the time, he denied it was aimed at winning over Jewish voters in the seat which the Government ultimately lost to independent Kerryn Phelps.
Top officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed in October that they had not been consulted by the Prime Minister before he announced he was contemplating moving the embassy.
The announcement of a review came at the expense of ratifying a landmark free trade agreement with Indonesia.
Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and is a strong supporter of the Palestinian territories.
The final deal, which Mr Morrison and Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced in Bali in August, was eight years in the making and was expected to be signed by the end of the year, delivering Australian exporters and the education sector millions of dollars in benefits.
It remains unclear when that agreement will now be signed.
The prospect of moving Australia’s embassy in Israel prompted Indonesia to delay finalising a landmark free trade agreement. (AAP: Lukas Coch)