US vetoes UNSC resolution to take back Trump action on Jerusalem

World Today

In this Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017 photo, a view of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound is seen. When President Donald Trump recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he said he was simply acknowledging reality _ but failed to mention Palestinian residents, or 37 percent of the city’s population. Despite such an omission and Israel’s portrayal of Jerusalem as united, the city’s de facto division between Jewish and Arab areas is apparent in the stark differences on the ground. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The United States on Monday vetoed a resolution supported by the 14 other U.N. Security Council members that would have required 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 U.S. move.

CGTN’s John Terrett reports.

The United States was certain to veto the Egyptian-drafted resolution, but its Arab supporters wanted the vote to demonstrate that countries everywhere and even many U.S. allies such as Britain, France and Japan are against Trump’s action.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called the resolution “an insult” that won’t be forgotten, saying the United Nations forced the U.S. to cast a veto simply because of its right to decide where to put its embassy.

The resolution that was vetoed would have called on “all states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the holy city of Jerusalem,” citing a 1980 council resolution.

Without naming any country, it would have expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”

And it 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.

The vetoed resolution 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status or demographic composition of the holy city of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”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 U.S. neutrality on Jerusalem on Dec. 6 when he declared that the United States recognizes the divided holy city as Israel’s capital and will move its embassy there. Trump insisted 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 decades-long 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 Mideast peace plan and says he remains committed to brokering a deal, despite the Jerusalem move. However, Abbas said after the announcement that the U.S. has effectively removed itself from any role as a Mideast broker, and those close to him say it’s time to look for alternatives.

Haley stressed that Trump “took great care not to prejudge final status negotiations” — and reiterated that the United States remains committed to Mideast peace.

The vetoed resolution would also have reiterated a call to reverse “the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-state solution” that would see the states of Israel and the Palestine living side-by-side in peace. And it would have called for intensified and accelerated international and regional efforts to achieve Middle East peace.

Story by The Associated Press