Australia removes recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel's capital from government webpage
The foreign ministry erased two sentences saying Australia had in 2018 "recognised West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel" and "looks forward to moving its embassy" there, The Guardian reported on Monday.
The ministry had said this move would happen "when practical, in support of, and after the final status determination of, a two-state solution".
Despite the deletions from the foreign ministry website, Penny Wong, Australia's foreign minister, said her government hadn't revoked Canberra's recognition of West Jerusalem, The Australian newspaper reported.
She said "no decision to change" the previous government's recognition had been taken.
The ministry's website still says Canberra "is committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state co-exist, in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders".
The removed lines were included under Australia's then Liberal-National Coalition government, which was deposed by Labor in an election in May, The Guardian reported.
Wong said in 2018 that her party "does not support unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and in government would reverse this decision".
The deleted lines about West Jerusalem featured on the ministry's site "as recently as last week", The Guardian reported.
The Australian foreign ministry amended its website after the newspaper contacted the government regarding the issue.
"The Australian government continues to consider the final status of Jerusalem as a matter to be resolved as part of any peace negotiations," a foreign ministry spokesperson said.
UK Prime Minister Liz Truss last month told her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid "about her review of the current location of the British embassy in Israel", according to her office.https://t.co/t9eh7K5jGC— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) October 11, 2022
The fate of Jerusalem is a centrepiece of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
While Israel illegally annexed the holy city in 1980 in a move rejected by the international community, Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state.
Former US President Donald Trump in 2017 controversially instructed that the American embassy be moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv as he recognised the city as Israel's capital.
Despite this, most countries have kept their missions in Tel Aviv, though the UK is currently contemplating moving its embassy.