Australian parliament debates fallout from possible embassy move to Jerusalem

Australian parliament debates fallout from possible embassy move to Jerusalem”

After Donald Trump's move, Morrison announced on Tuesday that he was considering relocating the Australian embassy from the coastal city of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and declaring the city as the Israeli capital.

"The government will carefully examine the arguments put forward by Australia's former Ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, that we should consider recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, without prejudice to its final boundaries, while acknowledging East Jerusalem as the expected capital of a future Palestinian state", he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the move would only be undertaken if it advanced the Israel-Palestine peace process, but Palestinians say the gesture would sabotage it.

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has welcomed the new foreign policy announcements made today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison - regarding Jerusalem, UN voting, policy toward Iran and upgrading defence ties with Israel - calling them "courageous, measured and principled".

However, given that one of Indonesia's foremost foreign policy positions is support for a Palestinian state, Mr Morrison's declaration in support of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has not gone down well in Jakarta.

Australia's prime minister has suggested recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital ahead of a by-election that could lead to the collapse of his government without the support of Jewish voters.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that an unnamed Indonesian official said Morrison's announcement could jeopardize a landmark bilateral trade deal he and President Joko Widodo are scheduled to sign later this year.

Morrison said Australia was still committed to a two-state solution.

Such a protest would be motivated by anger over the treatment of the popular former Wentworth MP Malcolm Turnbull, the ex-prime minister who quit Parliament after being ousted by his party as leader.

For decades, a proposed two-state solution has underpinned the worldwide community's efforts to address and achieve peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ― but Morrison appears unconvinced that it's ever going to work.

"This announcement has to do with the timing of the United Nations resolution on which we need to take a position and articulate our views", he told reporters in Sydney.

The Israeli reaction has been muted due to concerns Australia would recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. While both Russian Federation and France offered to host delegations from Israel and Palestine for renewed peace talks, on December 6, 2017 Trump announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The new Jerusalem embassy opened in May amid deadly clashes between Israelis and Palestinians at the border. "Specifically, the government will examine the merits of moving Australia's embassy to West Jerusalem". "I think we have to challenge that", Morrison said. That is, until the United States under Donald Trump moved its embassy to Jerusalem this year.

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