Australia’s move on Al-Quds criticized by Arab League, others

Tehran, Dec 17, IRNA – The Arab League issued a statement over Australia’s recognition of West Al-Quds as Israel’s capital, condemning the country’s decision as “blatantly biased towards the positions and policies of the Israeli occupation.”

Australia’s move followed US President Donald Trump’s moving the US Embassy to Al-Quds from Tel Aviv last May, which infuriated Palestinians and the wider Islamic world.

It also attracted rebukes from Southeast Asian trading partners, who feared the decision to wade into the multigenerational political quagmire could fuel unrest.

Malaysia came out strongly against the move, calling the decision “premature” and a “humiliation to the Palestinians,” the Guardian reported.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticized Australia’s move, saying countries had “no right” to do so.

“Al-Quds should remain as it is now and not the capital of Israel,” Mahathir told Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Bangkok.

“Al-Quds has always been under Palestine, so why are they taking the initiative to divide Al-Quds not belonging to them, but to divide the Arabs and the Jews? They have no rights,” he added.

Malaysia is a majority-Muslim country and has long supported a two-state solution in the Palestine-Israel conflict.

Israel captured East Al-Quds in a 1967 war and annexed it as its capital in a move not recognized internationally.

Palestinians want East Al-Quds as the capital of the state they hope to found in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israel signaled displeasure on Sunday with Australia’s move, with a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying it was a mistake to gainsay Israeli control over the whole city.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison reversed decades of Middle East policy by the country but said there are no immediate plans to move the Australian Embassy from Tel Aviv.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Saturday’s move was born of Australian “petty domestic politics.”

He said in a statement that the Australian decision to open a trade office in the city violated a United Nations resolution.
“All of Al-Quds remains a final-status issue for negotiations, while East Al-Quds, under international law, is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory,” he said.

Source: Iran Daily

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