United States vetoes UN resolution rejecting Trump's Jerusalem decision
- Author: Ryan Wade Dec 19, 2017,
Dec 19, 2017, 10:49
As the UN Security Council vote on "the situation in the Middle East, including Palestinian question" gets underway, the United Kingdom said it would vote against the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that the resolution reflects the worldwide community's rejection to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision that aims at changing the status of Jerusalem.
He said it was historically meaningful that the USA vote against 14 council members left the country "alone" at the U.N. Security Council on the issue of Jerusalem.
U.S. Delegate to the U.N. Nikki Haley voted against the resolution, using the United States' veto power as a permanent member for the first time in more than six years.
The veto cast by US Ambassador Nikki Haley highlighted Washington's isolation over Trump's announcement that the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, effectively ignoring Palestinian claims on the city.
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"The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy", she said after the veto. "It won't be forgotten", she said, describing the measure as "one more example of the United Nations doing more harm than good in addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict".
Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said the U.S. veto "represents a complete bias with the [Israeli] occupation and aggression", CNN reports.
This was the first time the USA exercised its veto since Trump became President.
The push for a vote - which came in the knowledge that the USA would use its veto - followed Trump's decision to upend decades of policy by declaring that the US recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and that he plans to move its embassy there.
Currently, Palestine is a "non-member observer state", meaning that it has the right to speak but not vote on resolutions.
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That resolution, which had 14 votes in favor, "reaffirmed ... that Israel's establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under global law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders". Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city's eastern sector, which Israel captured in a war in 1967 and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.
"Regrettably one state made a decision to oppose the whole world and to stand against the whole world with regard to this long-standing issue", Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour told the council.
Following the US block on the U.N. resolution, a spokesman for Erdogan said that the annulment of Trump's decision would be sought in the U.N. General Assembly.
Briefing the Security Council ahead of the vote, Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for Middle East peace, said escalations in violence in the region could not be divorced from unilateral actions that undermined the peace process.
The only support for the United States came from Israel.
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In Netanyahu's words, "One defeated the many, truth defeated lies".