UN to vote on call for US Jerusalem decision to be withdrawn
UNITED NATIONS − The United Nations Security Council is due to vote today on a draft resolution calling for the withdrawal of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, diplomats said, a move likely to face a Washington veto.
The one-page Egyptian-drafted text, seen by Reuters, does not specifically mention the United States or Trump. Diplomats say it has broad support among the 15-member council, and while it is unlikely to be adopted, the vote will further isolate Trump on the issue.
To pass, a resolution needs nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the United States, France, Britain, Russia or China.
Trump abruptly reversed decades of US policy this month when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, generating outrage from Palestinians. Trump also plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has praised Trump’s decision as “the just and right thing to do.”
The US mission to the United Nations was not immediately available to comment on Sunday.
Arab foreign ministers agreed to seek a UN Security Council resolution on the issue. The draft UN text expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”
It “affirms 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
The draft also calls upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.
Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there.
“No vote or debate will change the clear reality that Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel, Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement on Saturday.
Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move never recognised internationally.
The draft council resolution “demands that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognise any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”
A UN Security Council resolution adopted in December 2016 “underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”
That resolution was approved with 14 votes in favour and an abstention by former US President Barack Obama’s administration, which defied heavy pressure from long-time ally Israel and Trump, who was then president-elect, for Washington to wield its veto. (Reuters)