The Australian government is following the United States (U.S.) by preparing to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of the State of Israel but is reportedly not planning on relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv in the near future. The embassy will not be relocated in the immediate future, due to the AUS $200 million estimated cost of moving the facility. Instead, Australia is reportedly planning to open a consular facility in the Israeli capital in lieu of an embassy move.
Shortly after Prime Minister Scott Morrison entered office it was reported that he was weighing the possibility of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as the relocation of the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital and most countries believe that the status of the city should be determined as part of a peace deal.
Australia’s recognition of Israel’s capital joins a small but growing number of countries, including the U.S., Guatemala, the Czech Republic, and Honduras. In 2017, Russia announced that it recognized the western part of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel while also recognizing the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future Palestinian state.