CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia has overturned a previous government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the foreign minister said Tuesday.
The center-left Labor Party government cabinet agreed to re-recognize Tel Aviv as the capital and reaffirmed that Jerusalem’s status should be resolved in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said.
Australia remained committed to a two-party solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and “we will not support an approach that undermines this prospect,” Wong said.
Former Conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison formally recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2018, although the Australian embassy remained in Tel Aviv.
The change followed the decision by then-US President Donald Trump to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Joe Biden has kept the embassy in Jerusalem while the US distances itself from its once-intense mediation between the Israelis and Palestinians, who have not engaged in substantive peace talks in more than a decade.
Wong described Morrison’s move as being out of step internationally and a “cynical” attempt to win a by-election in a Sydney location with a large Jewish population.
Morrison’s Liberal Party led Jewish candidate Dave Sharma, who was defeated in the by-election but won the seat in the next general election.
Morrison’s government was elected in May after nine years in power.
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