The US on Monday vetoed a resolution supported by the 14 other UN Security Council members that would have required US President Donald Trump to rescind his declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a vote that showed the depth of global opposition to the US move.
The US was certain to veto the Egyptian-sponsored resolution, but its Arab supporters wanted the vote to demonstrate that countries everywhere and even many US allies, such as Britain, France and Japan, are against Trump’s action.
The Palestinians immediately announced that they will seek a resolution with similar demands in the 193-member UN General Assembly, where there are no vetoes.
However, unlike the UN Security Council, the assembly’s resolutions are not legally binding.
Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told reporters after meeting with the UN General Assembly president that he expects a vote this week.
He said he hopes for “overwhelming support” telling the Trump administration that the international community does not accept the US position, which he said violates international law and UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called the UN Security Council resolution “an insult” that will not be forgotten, saying the UN forced the US to cast a veto simply because of its right to decide where to put its embassy.
She said the veto — the first cast by the US in more than six years — was done “in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process.”
The vetoed resolution would have demanded that all countries comply with 10 resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the city’s final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
It would also have affirmed that “any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the holy city of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”
Trump shattered decades of unwavering US neutrality on Jerusalem on Dec. 6, when he declared that the US recognizes the divided holy city as Israel’s capital and will move its embassy there.
Trump said that after repeated peace failures it was past time for a new approach, saying his decision was merely based on reality.
The status of Jerusalem has been a central issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Trump’s announcement was widely perceived as taking the side of Israel.
It countered an international consensus that Jerusalem’s status should be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, who claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Trump’s announcement triggered denunciations and demonstrations around the world.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement and other groups organized mass protests while its rival, the Gaza-based Islamic militant group Hamas, has called for a third violent uprising against Israel.
Trump has been working on a new Middle East peace plan and has said that he remains committed to brokering a deal, despite the Jerusalem move.
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