Senate debates

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Questions without Notice


2:19 pm

Photo of George BrandisGeorge Brandis (Queensland, Liberal Party, Attorney-General) Share this | Hansard source

Senator Di Natale, thank you for asking a serious question. Let me outline the position of the Australian government in relation to President Trump's announcement: the Australian government has never supported unilateral action on either side and believes both sides must come together to negotiate a solution, which includes the status of Jerusalem. The Australian government will continue our diplomatic representation to Israel from our embassy in Tel Aviv and our representation to the Palestinian Authority from our office in Ramallah. We have no plans to move our embassy to Jerusalem.

The political identification of Jerusalem is subject to final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Australia supports a two-state solution where both Israel and a future Palestinian state exists side by side in peace and security within internationally recognised borders. We continue to call on both sides to return to negotiations as soon as possible. Australia is deeply concerned about the level of tension in the region and the potential for violence. We understand that this is a sensitive and emotive issue. We have not told the United States that we support the decision. Washington is aware that Australia has a longstanding policy about the location of Australia's embassy in Tel Aviv, and we will continue our diplomatic representation to Israel from our embassy in Tel Aviv.


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