Scott Morrison denies global damage over Jerusalem embassy plan

The new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends a news conference in Canberra Australia Au

While Australia said it would consider moving its mission from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem, Russia vowed to refrain from such a move before a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is signed.

"I think we have to challenge that", Morrison said earlier in Canberra.

"And Australia is a sovereign nation". We are allowed to do that.

Trump's Jerusalem move marked the first time since the UN-brokered partition of Palestine in 1947 that a president of the USA - a member of the Middle East Quartet, which is charged with mediating the peace process between Palestine and Israel - has departed from the established policy that the issue of Jerusalem as Israel's capital should be kept off the table. "And that's all we've done", he said.

Like Trump, Morrison and Payne vaguely said they might recognize "Jerusalem", without adding geographical or political adjectives.

Mr Morrison has opened the door to moving Australia's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and announced a review of the government's support for the Iran nuclear deal, which is created to prevent the country acquiring nuclear weapons but has faced staunch criticism from the United States and Israel.

It has the unintended effect of making it hard for Indonesian President Joko Widodo to pursue a positive relationship with Canberra.

Mr Morrison said he'd be seeking feedback when he attends several worldwide summit in the next few months.

"The finalisation of this, that is what we are working towards".

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Labor says the decision is all about Saturday's Wentworth by-election and a "panicked government" desperate to appeal to the electorate's large Jewish community.

A meeting of senior Arab representatives from 15 countries in Canberra on Tuesday discussed possible trade responses.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that an unnamed Indonesian official had said Jakarta had been taken by surprise by the announcement, which could harm trade negotiations between the two countries.

But even if Australia ends up doing nothing on Jerusalem, the joint statement released Tuesday contains other good news for Israel. "We don't want this excellent relationship to be undermined or affected by this baseless position". Though the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 to condemn the United States decision, Washington still opened its embassy in Jerusalem in May this year.

On Tuesday, Mr Morrison said his thinking had been guided by Australia's former ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma.

This claim has prompted debates in Australia and overseas, as the status of Jerusalem has been one of the key stumbling stones for negotiating a Palestinian-Israeli peace deal.

Denying any link to the by-election, Mr Morrison says it's about trying to find a way to agree on a two-state solution with Israel and the Palestinians. Mr Morrison said he had found Mr Sharma's arguments persuasive and they could offer a way forward for a process that "hasn't been going that well".

He further claimed that Australia's decision on Jerusalem al-Quds would not change the country's longstanding support for the so-called two-state solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has asserted it also does not preclude East Jerusalem being a capital of a future Palestinian state.

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