25 Oct 2018

Vanuatu to consider Israel's Jerusalem request

11:02 am on 25 October 2018

Vanuatu's prime minister says he will consider Israel's request to recognise Jerusalem as its capital.

Charlot Salwai

Charlot Salwai Photo: Dan McGarry/ Vanuatu Post

Charlot Salwai was pressed on the issue by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bilateral meeting last week.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the hurdles in the long-running Israel-Palestine conflict, as occupied East Jerusalem is wanted as the capital of any future Palestinian state.

Last year, the United States switched its recognition from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a decision that was criticised as a major setback for progress towards any Middle East peace agreement.

Most western countries - including New Zealand - have refused to follow suit.

Mr Salwai said he will follow up Mr Netanyahu's request with his Council of Ministers.

Vanuatu has traditionally abstained from most votes on issues relating to Israel and Palestine at the UN.

It also recognises the Palestinian Liberation Movement.