According to reports in Israeli media، The Australian government is reportedly set to formally recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on، but will likely delay moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv due to cost concerns.
Senior government sources told The Australian newspaper that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s cabinet approved the policy change at a national security meeting Tuesday night following extensive discussions on the matter.
"Cabinet ministers agreed that moving the embassy to occupied Jerusalem would take place at a later stage، the report said، due to the estimated $200 million it would cost to relocate the diplomatic mission"، the times of Israel reported.
Sources told the paper that Canberra would establish a consular office in Jerusalem until the embassy could be moved there. The report said the decision would likely be announced during Wednesday’s Council of Australian Governments meeting.
In last October، Morrison told reporters he was “open-minded” to following the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital، in what would be a sharp break in longstanding Australian foreign policy.
The announcement was welcomed by Israel، but heavily criticized by Palestinians and a number of Muslim-majority countries in Asia، including neighboring Indonesia، with which Australia is trying to clinch a landmark free-trade deal