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Foreign Ministry calls on Australia to reconsider Jerusalem remarks

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Eng408RAMALLAH (PNIC):-The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on Tuesday, to reconsider remarks he made regarding recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The ministry stressed, in a statement, that such a move would be "in violation of international law and United Nations resolutions, particularly Security Council Resolution 478 (1980)."

The ministry expressed shock at what it said was "the paradoxical logic" of Morrison, who emphasizes adherence to the two-state solution and continues to encourage the parties to continue dialogue and negotiations toward a peace agreement, while considering recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The ministry said "How can Australia continue to encourage the Palestinian side while doing exactly the opposite when it declares its intention to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Such a measure would encourage the Occupying Power to refuse to sit and negotiate with Palestine, which would keep us away from the possibility of achieving peace - the goal that Morrison talks about."

The ministry stressed that the contradiction in Morrison's remarks were obvious when he considered the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving the embassy to Jerusalem would help encourage the parties to move forward in negotiations, while considering that his country's rejection of the draft resolution at the UN General Assembly to recognize the authority of the Palestine delegation was done to prevent failure of attempts to bring the parties together at the negotiating table.

"We do not understand how moving the embassy and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will preserve the peace process, while a vote at the General Assembly today rejecting the authority of the delegation of the State of Palestine only during its presidency of the group of 77 China will undermine those opportunities?"

The ministry addressed Morrison, saying "Commitment to the two-state solution means not taking any unilateral action that would undermine the status of Jerusalem, and Australia's commitment to the concept of a two-state solution is not abstract or a formality that has nothing to do with any other issue such as Jerusalem, borders, settlements, refugees, security or water, but is linked to the outcome of the negotiations on these issues, which are considered the final status issues after which and when reaching understandings regarding them, it will be possible to sign a peace agreement that allows the implementation of the two-state solution."

The ministry concluded by calling on Morrison to reconsider his remarks, which harm Australia's interests and its international standing, expressing hope that the Australian opposition, civil society organizations, the business sector and the Arab and Islamic communities would press the Australian government to reconsidered its position set by David Sharma before it becomes official.

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