Scott Morrison says everyday ns care about where the capital of Israel is located.Prime Minister Scott Morrison insists everyday ns do care about whether the embassy in Israel is located in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
Mr Morrison, who promised to focus on “bread and butter” issues when he took the job two months ago, floated the politically-charged idea of relocating the embassy earlier this week.
His thought bubble has infuriated Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country and a key trading partner, and prompted a swift backlash from Arab leaders.
The prime minister insists voters want to have “its own voice” on foreign policy.
“We can’t be told by other countries around the world about what our views are,” he told the Nine Network on Friday.
“I think it is an important question of sovereignty for .”
Mr Morrison said he could do two things at once by floating major Middle East policy shifts while focusing on electricity and petrol prices.
“If you are telling me that I’m not allowed to raise a question about an issue as significant as peace in the Middle East … then that doesn’t make us an independent nation.”
The n Federal Police is investigating the leaking of a secret ASIO briefing that warned that any move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel could provoke unrest and violence in Palestinian territories.
The federal government believes a state Labor government leaked the briefing note from ‘s spy agency to The Guardian.
Scott Morrison on Thursday told parliament, ‘s spy agency “as a matter of routine practice provides this advice to Commonwealth and state governments on security matters”.
An ASIO spokesperson told Fairfax Media the agency’s head Duncan Lewis had spoken to AFP boss Andrew Colvin and “formally referred this matter to the AFP for investigation”.
The Victorian government has denied it was behind the leak.
“For the Morrison government to point fingers at the states shows how desperate and erratic they are,” a spokesman told Fairfax.
It followed the leak of a series of terse WhatsApp messages from Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to her n counterpart Marise Payne on the proposed embassy move.