Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Australian embassy to remain in Tel Aviv

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has announced Labor would reverse Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, hitting out at former prime minister Scott Morrison for his decision to “play politics” in shifting the position. Ms Wong on Tuesday said the Labor Government was committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist “in peace and stability”. “Today the Government has reaffirmed Australia’s previous and long-standing position that Jerusalem is a final status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people,” she said. “This reverses the Morrison Government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Ms Wong said Australia’s embassy would remain in Tel Aviv, where it “has always been”. The Foreign Minister said “Australia will always be a steadfast friend of Israel” as she criticised Mr Morrison’s shift and the “distress” it caused. (https://www.skynews.com.au/world-news/global-affairs/penny-wong-reverses-decision-to-recognise-west-jerusalem-as-capital-of-israel-with-the-australian-embassy-to-remain-in-tel-aviv/news-story/) In 2018 Mr Morrison made the move to officially recognise West Jerusalem as the capital, which Labor at the time strongly opposed.

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