In a major policy shift, Australia has officially recognised west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Reversing decades of Middle East policy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison also added that Australia embassy will not be moved from Tel Aviv to the holy city immediately.
“Australia now recognises West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel,” he told reporters in Sydney, as quoted by Reuters. Adding further, he said, “We look forward to moving our embassy to West Jerusalem when practical … and after final status determination.”
The development came about two months after PM Morrison indicated that he is open to the idea of recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and shifting Australia’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
In October, Morrison had said he was ‘open-minded’ about moving the embassy. He also insisted on remaining committed to a two-state solution. He said it was suggested to him by Indian-origin former Australian ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma.