According to a spokesman for Prime Minister #Rishi Sunak, the UK has “no plans” to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. A spokesperson stated on Thursday that the government had “no [such] intentions” in response to a query regarding the possibility of moving the embassy. She added that the relocation plan had been considered by the previous administration.
Despite Israel recognizing Jerusalem as its capital, the UK has long maintained an embassy in Tel Aviv, where the majority of other nations also have consulates.
Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced in September that she was thinking about moving the embassy to Jerusalem. The Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Yair Lapid, applauded this statement. The Palestinian administration, Palestinian-supporting organizations, British church leaders, and European foreign ministers, among others, all voiced their opposition to it.
Jerusalem continues to be at the center of the protracted Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The Palestinian Authority (PA) insists that East Jerusalem, which Israel has been illegally occupying since 1967, should serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital is not recognized internationally until the Palestinian conflict is resolved. Under former President Donald Trump, the US broke its ten-year policy and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by building its embassy there in 2018. Israel applauded the decision, but the Arab world and Western allies criticized it.
Under the direction of then-Prime Minister Theresa May, the UK stated at the time that it had no plans to move its embassy and openly opposed the US decision. Only the US, Kosovo, Honduras, and Guatemala have embassies in Jerusalem.
Earlier, in the second week of October, Australia denied that its position had changed and insisted that it had not gone back on a decision reached under former Prime Minister Scott Morrison to recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Hours after The Guardian in the UK claimed that Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has changed its position on recognizing West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to The Times of Israel, Foreign Minister Penny Wong denied the claim.
Wong disputed that the previous administration had reversed its judgment. The government “continues to see the final status of Jerusalem as an issue to be settled as part of any peace discussions”.
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