Australia hesitates as Jerusalem embassy move draws fire

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison attends a press conference in Parliament House in Canberra

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison attends a press conference in Parliament House in Canberra

Australia will reconsider its support for Iran's nuclear deal and is open to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and shifting its embassy there, Australia's Prime Minister said on Tuesday.

Australia says it is considering recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's "capital" and relocating its embassy to the occupied Palestinian city just as the U.S. did earlier this year in a move that drew draw harsh criticism both from Palestinians and the global community.

The candidate contesting the by-election for Morrison's Liberal party, Dave Sharma, is a former ambassador to Israel who was credited with the idea to relocate the embassy.

Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and annexed.

When Mr Morrison elected as 30 Prime Minister in August this year, he made his first overseas trip to immediate neighbour Indonesia which is the world's largest Muslim-majority nation. "It has not come up in any discussion I have had with the president or with officials", Morrison said.

Morrison also announced that Australia would vote against a United Nations resolution this week to recognize the Palestinian Authority as the chair of the Group of 77 developing countries and would review the 3-year-old Iran nuclear deal.

Sharma is running in a special election on Saturday to fill the Australian House of Representatives seat of Wentworth, left vacant following the resignation of former Prime Minister and incumbent Liberal lawmaker Malcolm Turnbull.

IDF strikes back: 20 Gaza terrorist targets blasted
Lieberman already suspended deliveries of fuel that had been trucked daily into Gaza under a deal brokered by the United Nations. The Israeli army registered a rocket launch from the Gaza Strip that resulted in a siren in the city of Beersheba going off.

For decades, a proposed two-state solution has underpinned the global community's efforts to address and achieve peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ― but Morrison appears unconvinced that it's ever going to work.

"We're committed to a two state solution, but frankly, it hasn't been going that well". The U.S. Embassy officially opened in Jerusalem in May.

Malaysia's PM in-waiting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim warned that Australia could jeopardise its relations with ASEAN countries by recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv.

If the embassy move is realized, Australia would become the third country in the world to have its envoys based in the disputed city. While both Russian Federation and France offered to host delegations from Israel and Palestine for renewed peace talks, on December 6, 2017 Trump announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

At the time the Guardian reported that, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop ruled out the move stating that "Jerusalem is a final status issue" and that Australian had "maintained that position for decades". Paraguay relocated its embassy there as well, but its new leader, President Mario Abdo Benitez, reversed the move upon entering office. That is what they are working towards and we continue to undertake that work.

Egypt's ambassador to Australia Mohamed Khairat said ambassadors from 13 Arab countries had met in Canberra and agreed to send a letter to Australia's foreign minister expressing their concern.

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