Alwaght- Australia will no longer recognize the occupied West al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the Israeli regime's so-called capital, reversing a decision taken by the government of Australia's former Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2018.
“Today the Government has reaffirmed Australia’s previous and longstanding position that Jerusalem is a final status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement.
“This reverses the Morrison Government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”
Wong reiterated that Australia’s embassy would remain in Tel Aviv and that Canberra was committed to a two-state solution “in which Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist, in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders”.
She added: “We will not support an approach that undermines this prospect.”
The Israeli regime occupied the western part of the city during a heavily-Western-backed war in 1948. It also occupied the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, including East al-Quds, in a another war in 1967.
Ever since, the apartheid regime has dotted the territory with hundreds of illegal settlements that have come to house hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East al-Quds as its capital. The Israeli regime, however, lays claim to the entire city as its so-called capital.
Back in 2018, former previous Prime Minister Scott Morrison reversed decades of Australia's Middle East policy by saying his country recognized West al-Quds as the "capital" of Israel, but would not move its embassy there immediately.
"I regret that Mr. Morrison’s decision to play politics resulted in Australia’s shifting position, and the distress these shifts have caused to many people in the Australian community who care deeply about this issue," Wong said in another part of her remarks.
"You know what this was? This was a cynical play, unsuccessful, to win the seat of Wentworth and a by-election," she added.
Morrison had flagged moving the embassy from Tel Aviv in 2018 just days before a by-election in a Sydney electorate with a strong Jewish representation. It drew criticism from Muslim-majority neighbors such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
Morrison's Liberal-led coalition lost a national election in May. The center-left Labor party, with Anthony Albanese as prime minister and Wong as foreign minister, came to power in May 2022.
At that time, Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman underlined the sensitivity of Australia’s decision, saying “the issue of Palestine is very important to Indonesia and the people of Indonesia."
Indonesian Defense Ministry spokesman also warned of a possible revision in military cooperation with Australia to see whether its continuation “is beneficial for both parties.”
The decision was also condemned by Palestinians as an obstacle to achieving peace in the region, urging Arab countries to review their trade and political ties with Canberra.