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Indonesia welcomes Australian policy reversal on Israeli capital

Jakarta Post - October 20, 2022

News Desk, Jakarta – Indonesia has welcomed Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's reversal of the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said Indonesia appreciated "Australia's reaffirmation of its commitment to support a peaceful resolution to the conflict based on a two-state solution".

"This policy will hopefully contribute positively to Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations," the statement continued.

On Tuesday, Australia said it would no longer recognize west Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a policy reversal that prompted a curt rebuke from the Jewish state but was cheered by Palestinians.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the city's status should be decided by Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, unwinding a contentious decision by the previous conservative government.

In 2018, Australia's then-prime minister Scott Morrison followed US president Donald Trump's lead in unilaterally recognizing west Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The move caused domestic backlash in Australia and friction with neighboring Indonesia – the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation – temporarily derailing a bilateral free trade deal.

The Indonesian government, facing domestic pressure at home, had reacted angrily earlier this year when Morrison floated the idea of both countries recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid criticized Tuesday's move – which comes as he prepares for a Nov. 1 general election.

"We can only hope that the Australian government manages other matters more seriously and professionally," he said, quoted by AFP.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/world/2022/10/20/indonesia-welcomes-australian-policy-reversal-on-israeli-capital.htm