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UN General Assembly Rejects Trump’s Decision, Threats

UN General Assembly Rejects Trump’s Decision, Threats

Friday, 22 December, 2017 - 06:15
Dr. Riyad Mansour (center), Palestine’s observer at the United Nations, talks with members of the General Assembly prior to a vote Thursday at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday approved a resolution banning a change in the “character, status or demographic composition of the city of Jerusalem”, in a clear rejection of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the city as the capital of Israel, despite his administration’s threats to punish countries voting against his decision.


The decision came as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met in Riyadh on Thursday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed the need to “intensify practical efforts to ensure the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”


While 128 States supported the General Assembly resolution, only nine opposed it - Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo, and the United States - with 35 abstentions.


US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley repeated her threats to cut off aid to those who vote in favor of the resolution.


“This vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN. And this vote will be remembered,” she said ahead of the vote on the status of Jerusalem.


The resolution demanded that all states “comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”


“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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council,” it added.


The Assembly also called upon all states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to Security Council Resolution 478 adopted in 1980.


Reiterating its call for the reversal of the negative trends that endanger the two-State solution, the Assembly urged greater international and regional efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.


Abbas said the resolution “confirms the international community’s position on our side,” while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the United Nations a “house of lies.”


In his address to the General Assembly, the representative of Israel, Danny Danon, said: ““No General Assembly resolution will ever drive us from Jerusalem.”


Other speakers included Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, and the ambassadors of Yemen, Turkey, Venezuela, Pakistan, Indonesia, Maldives, Syria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Iran, China, Malaysia, North Korea, South Africa and the Vatican, who have all stressed that East Jerusalem was the capital of the state of Palestine and that the US decision undermined peace efforts and a two-state solution.

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