Indonesia warns Australia over possible Jerusalem move

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is considering recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and transferring the embassy there.

Mr. Morrison said Australia remained committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while conceding progress has been slow and the results underwhelming, news.com reports.

He described proposals to recognise Jerusalem and move Australia's embassy as "sensible" and "persuasive" and would be considered by the government.

The Palestinian mission has also slammed the announcement as "deeply disturbing".

In May, the United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city despite indignation throughout the Arab world and protests within the Palestinian territories, which left 60 demonstrators dead.

Mr Howard also said he "remains a strong critic" of the Iran nuclear deal, which Mr Morrison has also vowed to review.

Sharma, who was ambassador to Israel between 2013 and 2017, is on Saturday standing as a candidate for Morrison's ruling Liberal Party in a crucial by-election in Sydney. If his party does not win, the coalition government will lose its one-seat majority in parliament.

Labor accused Mr Morrison of "desperation", with Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong saying the Prime Minister was playing "dangerous and deceitful" word games.

Morrison rejected suggestions that his decision to consider following Trump's lead was a result of United States pressure or related to the by-election in Sydney's Wentworth district on Saturday. He said no decision had been made and he was simply being open to the suggestion. "It has not come up in any discussion I have had with the president or with officials", Morrison said.

In a strongly-worded statement, Izzar Abdulhadi warned that the embassy relocation would "make Australia a pariah state" and damage "Australia's worldwide standing and. relations with Arab and Muslim-dominated countries".

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Mr Trump opened the new U.S. embassy in the city in May. S., which had already moved its embassy to Jerusalem.

Morrison, a devout evangelist and leader of the Liberal Party, took office in August.

Jerusalem is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.

"While I understand the sentiment behind this resolution, the Australian government will not be moving our embassy to Jerusalem", Bishop said.

Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital would follow US President Donald Trump's controversial decision last December and reverse decades of foreign policy as well as inflaming tensions with some of the country's Asian neighbours.

The two-state solution envisages an independent Palestine alongside Israel.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

"Specifically, the Government will examine the merits of moving Australia's embassy to West Jerusalem, in the context of our support for a two-state solution".

In the decades since 1967, worldwide consensus has been that the city's status must be negotiated between the two sides.

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