The Australian government is reportedly set to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, but will likely delay moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv due to cost concerns, The Times of Israel reported.
Senior government sources told The Australian newspaper that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s cabinet approved the policy change at a national security meeting Tuesday night following extensive discussions on the matter.
Cabinet ministers agreed that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would take place at a later stage, the report said, due to the estimated $200 million it would cost to relocate the diplomatic mission.
Sources told the paper that Canberra would establish a consular office in Jerusalem until the embassy could be moved there.
The report said the decision would likely be announced during Wednesday’s Council of Australian Governments meeting.
It was not clear if the government intended to recognize the entirety of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, or just West Jerusalem, which Israel has held throughout its existence — as opposed to the eastern sectors of the city that it captured in the 1967 Six Day War.