Victorian Liberal Leader Matthew Guy backs US President Donald Trump in declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, in a move at odds with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s stance.
Mr. Trump has promised to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, despite a furious reaction from Palestinian and other Arab and Islamic groups.
As Premier Daniel Andrews opened the state’s trade and investment office in Tel Aviv this week, Coalition MPs said it should have been located in Jerusalem.
But Australia’s official policy, re-iterated by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Thursday, is to wait for the status of Jerusalem to be resolved through two-state solution negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Speaking on ABC radio on Thursday morning, Ms. Bishop said: “We believe that the political identification of Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. That’s always been our position.”
Asked whether the Australian government planned to extend its diplomatic presence to Jerusalem, Ms. Bishop said that was not necessary.
“Australia has been a staunch supporter of Israel. But we placed our embassy in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it.”