Following reports that Australia has made a U-turn on a previous government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the country, on Monday, denied that it has reversed a decision, made under former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and there has been no change in policy.
The denial came from Australian Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, hours after the UK`s publication
It was reported that Australia`s Department of Foreign Affairs dropped its stance recognizing West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
A spokesperson for Wong explained that the government “continues to consider the final status of Jerusalem as a matter to be resolved as part of any peace negotiations.
“But ‘the former government decided to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel’ and no decision to change that has been made by the government,” Wong said via the spokesperson.
The Labor Party had vowed to reverse Canberra`s move in 2018 under then-prime minister, Scott Morrison, of the Liberal Party of Australia to recognize the western part of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital if elected.
Morrison had sought to win the Liberal Party another term in office in the May 2022 national elections but was defeated by the opposing Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, the country`s prime minister since late May.
Wong, as an opposition senator in 2018, had said that the centre-left Labor Party “does not support unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and in government would reverse this decision.”
“Australia remains a longstanding friend and strong supporter of Israel,” Wong said in the statement on Monday.
A spokesperson for Morrison said a decision to reverse the recognition would be “disappointing,”.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that the Labor lawmaker, Jason Clare, the country`s education minister, said no decision on a potential reversal had been made because the cabinet had not yet considered the issue.
Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community. For decades the international community maintained that the city`s status should be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.