US Vetos UNSC Resolution Criticising Trump's Jerusalem Decision

Turkey marks International Migrants' Day

The US stood isolated at the UN Security Council on Monday, 18 December, after all the members except Washington voted in favour of an Egypt-drafted resolution, which would have required President Donald Trump to withdraw his declaration of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The draft, written by Egypt, said any decisions on the status of Jerusalem "have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded".

The draft resolution was backed on Monday by the 14 other Security Council members, including many U.S. allies, highlighting Washington's increasing isolation over an issue that has triggered mass rallies in support of the Palestinians in major global cities. It is the first time in the UNSC in more than six years, US-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley says.

Explaining the negative vote (veto), US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley said it had been done to protect United States' sovereignty and its right to choose where to have its embassy.

The rare use of the USA veto to block the vote was not an embarrassment, Haley said, but should embarrass the other council members.

Ahead of the vote, Haley said the Security Council was putting peace out of reach by "injecting itself" into the conflict and passing judgement on issues that should be decided by direct negotiation between the parties.

Presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina denounced the United States veto, calling it a mockery of the worldwide community and a concession to Israeli occupation and aggression.

But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in some of his sharpest rhetoric since Trump's announcement, reiterated in public comments to senior Palestinian officials Monday that he will no longer accept the U.S.as a Mideast mediator.

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Britain's Permanent Representative Matthew Ryrcroft reflected the views of the other members when he said the United States decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital had no legal affect and his country disagreed with it.

Abbas emphasized that the Palestinian Authority would resort to the UN General Assembly for the adoption of a set of resolutions, and said in this context that the PA would deploy all efforts in order to get full membership. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, now occupied by Israel, as the capital of their future independent state. Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in an action not recognized internationally.

Trump's declaration unleashed widespread anger and rallies within Palestine and in major cities across the world.

Fourteen council members voted in favor of the Egyptian-sponsored resolution that would have demanded Trump reverse course on the decision.

The only support for the United States came from Israel.

"The United States will continue to play an extremely important role in the search for peace in the Middle East".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Haley and Trump in a Facebook video, saying: "You lit a candle of truth".

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