22:02 GMT +317 October 2019
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    The Israeli flag flutters in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque and the city of Jerusalem, on December 1, 2017

    Palestinians Blast Australian Decision to Recognise Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

    © AFP 2019 / THOMAS COEX
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Saeb Erekat has slammed Australia's Middle Eastern policy, as well as Canberra's recent decision to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, noting that the status of the city was a matter of negotiations between the parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    "From the beginning, we've perceived the Australian government’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as one wherein petty domestic politics steer irresponsible policies that contradict world peace and security. In fact, the reference to West Jerusalem in their announcement reflects Australia's inability to go ahead as was previously announced", Erekat said in a statement.

    Erekat noted that Australia's government "has done nothing to advance the two-state solution" for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as it has refused to recognise Palestine as a state and continued to trade with Israeli settlements. According to the official, by planning to open a trade office in Jerusalem, Australia is in violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 478, which calls on countries to withdraw diplomatic missions from the city.

    READ MORE: Australia Recognises West Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

    The statement comes after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia recognised West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and intended to open trade and defence offices there. At the same time, Canberra has no plans to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem so far.

    In May, the United States relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem prompting the outrage of the Muslim world. Brazil, the Czech Republic, Guatemala, and Honduras have also recognised Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

    Meanwhile, the United Nations has urged the organisation's member states to refrain from moving diplomatic missions to Jerusalem until the city’s legal status is settled.

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    capital, recognition, UN Security Council (UNSC), Australia, Palestine, Israel, Jerusalem
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