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Australia reverses decision to recognise West Jerusalem as Israeli capital Australia reverses decision to recognise West Jerusalem as Israeli capital
(32 minutes later)
The status of Jerusalem is a contentious issueThe status of Jerusalem is a contentious issue
Australia has reversed a decision made four years ago to recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.Australia has reversed a decision made four years ago to recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Canberra's decision in 2018 had undermined peace and put Australia out of step with other nations, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said.Canberra's decision in 2018 had undermined peace and put Australia out of step with other nations, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said.
She stressed that Australia remained a "steadfast friend" to Israel. Its embassy will stay in Tel Aviv.She stressed that Australia remained a "steadfast friend" to Israel. Its embassy will stay in Tel Aviv.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between Israel and the Palestinians.The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel's foreign ministry has expressed its "deep disappointment" at Australia's decision and will summon its ambassador, Israeli media reported.Israel's foreign ministry has expressed its "deep disappointment" at Australia's decision and will summon its ambassador, Israeli media reported.
Former US President Donald Trump drew international criticism in 2017 when he reversed decades of American foreign policy by recognising the ancient city as Israel's capital. The US embassy was relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018.Former US President Donald Trump drew international criticism in 2017 when he reversed decades of American foreign policy by recognising the ancient city as Israel's capital. The US embassy was relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018.
Months later, Australia's then Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his government would follow suit.Months later, Australia's then Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his government would follow suit.
At the time, Mr Morrison said Australia would recognise West Jerusalem immediately but not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement was achieved.At the time, Mr Morrison said Australia would recognise West Jerusalem immediately but not move its embassy from Tel Aviv until a peace settlement was achieved.
Palestinian anger at possible UK embassy movePalestinian anger at possible UK embassy move
Why Trump and Jerusalem was not about peaceWhy Trump and Jerusalem was not about peace
The Israel-Palestinian conflict explainedThe Israel-Palestinian conflict explained
Mr Morrison's government lost power in an election in May this year.Mr Morrison's government lost power in an election in May this year.
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Penny Wong called the former government's decision a "cynical play" to win over Jewish voters ahead of an election in Australia.On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Penny Wong called the former government's decision a "cynical play" to win over Jewish voters ahead of an election in Australia.
"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," she said."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," she said.
She reaffirmed the country's "previous and longstanding" position that the status of Jerusalem should be resolved as part of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people.She reaffirmed the country's "previous and longstanding" position that the status of Jerusalem should be resolved as part of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people.
"We will not support an approach that undermines this prospect," she said. The UK is currently considering moving its embassy to Jerusalem. Honduras, Guatemala and Kosovo are the only countries other than the US with embassies in the city.
Israel regards Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided" capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war - as the capital of a future state.Israel regards Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided" capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war - as the capital of a future state.
The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, the final status of Jerusalem is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, the final status of Jerusalem is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.
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