The Australian government on Saturday decided to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, news agency ANI reported. However, Australia will not be shifting its embassy to Jerusalem, until there is a peace settlement, according to reports. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “Australia will recognize east Jerusalem as Palestine's capital only after a settlement has been reached on a two-state solution. The Australian Embassy won't be moved from Tel Aviv until such a time."
AFP: Australia recognises west Jerusalem as the capital of #Israel— ANI (@ANI) December 15, 2018
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While the embassy move is delayed, Morrison says the government will establish a defence and trade office in Jerusalem and will also start looking for an appropriate site for the embassy.
"The Australian government has decided that Australia now recognizes west Jerusalem, as the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel," he said.
Israel regards Jerusalem as its capital, but most countries believe that the city’s final status should be determined through the peace process between Israelis and the Palestinians, who both seek to have it as their official capital. As a result, the vast majority of embassies in Israel are outside the city.
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In December 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In May, the U.S. embassy to Israel relocated to the city, and two days later, Guatemala followed suit. Brazil’s incoming president Jair Bolsonaro expressed his desire in November that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital after taking office in January.
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