Morrison cabinet to examine Jerusalem embassy move this week

Jakarta: Scott Morrison’s cabinet is due to discuss whether Australia’s Israeli embassy should move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem at a meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The decision on the embassy move is being closely watched by senior figures in the administration of Indonesian president Joko Widodo, who are in regular contact with Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia, Gary Quinlan.

Last week, Foreign Minister Marise Payne met her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on the sidelines of a conference in Bali to discuss the issue – though both women were tight-lipped about the details of the discussion after the meeting.

A member of the Morrison cabinet told the Herald and The Age on Sunday that Tuesday’s meeting was likely to be the last full cabinet get together before Christmas and that a discussion – and a decision – was likely.

“There needs to be a practical and pragmatic approach to this, we don’t want to upset trading partners like Indonesia,” the cabinet minister said.

“But we also need to not look like we are second-guessing what we announced [a possible move of the embassy] during the Wentworth byelection. Compromise is the best option here.”

Once a decision is taken by the cabinet a public announcement is expected soon afterwards.

Read the article by James Massola in The Sydney Morning Herald.