Scott Morrison, the new prime minister of Australia is reportedly considering following in President Trump’s footsteps and moving his country’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Morrison said on Tuesday that he is very “open” to the move, The Guardian reported.
He also argued that Israeli-Palestinian relations have not made any progress and blamed “the orthodoxy that has driven this debate which says issues like considering the question of the capital are taboo.”
Palestinians are hoping for East Jerusalem to be made the capital of a future Palestinian state as the ancient city contains holy sites for Christians, Jews and Muslims alike.
According to multiple reports, Morrison said, “Though we are committed to a two-state solution, it hasn’t been going that well and since not a lot of progress has been made, there is no point to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.”
He reportedly also called the proposal as very sensible and immediately faced questions from media about whether his evangelical Christian views were influencing his decision to which he replied that his faith and religion has nothing to do with this decision.
According to The Guardian, Morrison said that Dave Sharma, Liberal party candidate and former Australian ambassador to Israel raised the issue for him.
When asked about moving the embassy, Sharma said that Australia should be open to considering it, according to news.com.au.
Morrison was also quoted as saying that “Australia’s position on the issue has, to date, assumed that it is not possible to consider the question of the recognition of the capital of Israel in Jerusalem and that be consistent with pursuing a two state solution”.
U.S President, Donald Trump had announced last December that the United States would formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel — contradicting decades of American foreign policy in the Middle East region.
The new Jerusalem embassy opened in the month of May amid deadly clashes between Israelis and Palestinians at the border.
According to the BBC, Israeli soldiers shot and killed as many as 52 Palestinians during the protests along the border of the Gaza Strip, on the bloodiest day there since the 2014 Gaza war.
Morrison said that neither Trump nor the United States delegation in Israel have pushed or advised Australia to move the embassy.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had tweeted this Monday that he had already spoken with Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison on the issue.