Bahrain foreign minister defends Australia's decision on Jerusalem

Reuters
Dubai - United Arab Emirates Published: Dec 16, 2018, 05:22 PM(IST)

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa waits for a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry (unseen) at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah September 11, 2014. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The foreign minister of US ally Bahrain said the move would not affect a future Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The foreign minister of US ally Bahrain has defended Australia's formal recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying the move would not affect a future Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Australia's government announced the decision on Saturday, reversing decades of Middle East policy, but said it would not immediately move its embassy there.

The United States in May opened its embassy in Jerusalem.

The Arab League had issued a statement criticising the Australian decision as "blatantly biased towards the positions and policies of the Israeli occupation".

But Bahraini minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa described the statement as "mere rhetoric and irresponsible".

"Australia's stance does not impact the legitimate Palestinian demands, first among them being East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and it does not contradict the Arab Peace Initiative," he tweeted on Saturday.

Sheikh Khalid has previously said Israel had the right to defend itself against Shi'ite Muslim Iran, which Bahrain blames for stoking unrest in the Sunni-ruled island state. Iran denies interfering in Bahrain.

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