Australian prime minister visiting Israel despite domestic crisis

 

(JNS.org) Despite a brewing political crisis at home, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is arriving in Israel on Monday amid warming ties between the two countries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on stage at a conference attended by business leaders on Feb. 22, 2017. Credit: Haim Zach/GPO.

Turnbull was slated to arrive in the Jewish state last week, but had his trip cut two days short after Australia’s High Court last Friday found the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and four other politicians had been wrongly elected due to their holding of dual citizenship. 

Australian Veterans’ Affairs Minister Dan Tehan, who is currently in Tel Aviv leading a cybersecurity delegation, rejected assertions that Turnbull was embarrassed by his trip to Israel being abruptly shortened.  

“It’s not embarrassing, this sort of thing happens all the time,” Tehan told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 

At the start of his weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Australia “one of the state of Israel’s greatest friends.”

Turnbull’s visit to Israel follows Netanyahu’s historic trip to Australia in February—the first by a holder of his office. 

Posted on October 29, 2017 .