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Sussan Ley leads Liberal delegation to Israel

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Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley and opposition legal affairs spokesman Julian Leeser will travel to Israel this weekend to meet political leaders and ­reaffirm the Coalition’s commitment to West Jerusalem as the ­nation’s capital.
The trip coincides with the holding of elections for the Knesset, the country’s fifth in four years, with the pair travelling via the United Arab Emirates to ­investigate how the Abraham ­Accords are changing Israel’s ­relations in the Middle East.
The delegation will also meet Palestinian leaders.
Ms Ley said the trip had ­become more important since the Albanese government had opted to reverse Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as being ­Israel’s ­capital.
“I am looking forward to ­connecting with Israeli leaders to reassure them of our party’s commitment to supporting a free and secure Israel,” Ms Ley said.
“We are keen to have a constructive dialogue with local groups and communities from the region who share a strong commitment to peace and security, and reassure them of our commitment to that eff The trip is being organised by the Australian/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council.
Mr Leeser said Labor had shown “disrespect” to Israel via its “mishandling of the relationship over West Jerusalem”.
The Albanese government ­ignited a diplomatic furore with Israel this month following a snap cabinet decision to abandon the policy of recognising West ­Jerusalem as the nation’s capital. The Israeli embassy in Canberra was blindsided by the move, prompting an angry response from Prime Minister Yair Lapid and calling into question Australia’s treatment of a close ally.
The government unveiled the change after the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade effectively ­announced it by quietly ­deleting ­sentences on its website relating to the previous Coalition government’s policy.
Scott Morrison formally ­recognised West Jerusalem in December 2018 in line with the US decision to relocate its ­embassy to West Jerusalem.
Government officials revealed on Friday that Anthony Albanese had not spoken directly with Israel’s Prime Minister since the decision to revoke recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital.
Additional reporting: Sarah Ison
Joe Kelly
Canberra Bureau Chief

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Article source: The Australian
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2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000

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