UN Security Council pushes back against Trump’s Jerusalem designation

World Today

As protests flared in the Middle East, the United Nations Security Council held a special session. The Palestinian delegation described the U.S. decision on Jerusalem as a violation of international law, while Israel sees it as a positive step.

CGTN’s William Denselow reports.
Follow William Denselow on Twitter @willdenze

Palestinian U.N. Observer Riyadh Mansour delivered a clear message when the UN Security Council session got underway.

“The status of Jerusalem cannot be unilaterally altered or determined by any state. And this decision by the U.S. should be rescinded, should be reconsidered and rescinded.”

The U.N. insists that there is no alternative to the two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, adding the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital for both sides should be addressed towards the end of peace negotiations.

Israel has repeatedly accused the U.N. of showing bias against them, but Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said the U.S. showed courage to right what he called were historic wrongs.

The meeting was also an opportunity for US Ambassador Nikki Haley to defend President Donald Trump’s decision.

“Jerusalem is the home of Israel’s parliament, president, prime minister Supreme Court and many of its ministries. It is simple common sense that foreign embassies be located there,” Haley said.

The emergency meeting was requested by 8 of the 15 Security Council members. After its conclusion, ambassadors from five European nations issued a joint statement.

“The EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed to by the parties,” British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said.

The Security Council said it remains hopeful that there can be a return to peace talks.

European powers condemned President Trump’s move, but did praise his commitment to the two-state solution. They are now calling on the US to provide a detailed proposal to resume the peace process.