US Vetoes UN Call for Withdrawal of Trump Jerusalem Decision

The U.S. blocked a United Nations Security Council vote Monday on a resolution that called on all states to refrain from building diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

The remaining 14 council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem".

In an effort to keep Washington from exercising its veto power, the text did not mention the United States by name, saying instead it "deeply regrets recent decisions regarding the status of Jerusalem".

Explaining the negative vote, US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley said it had been done to protect her country's sovereignty and its right to choose where to have its embassy.

"The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy", she said.

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.

Palestinian President's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in an official statement that the United States veto of the draft resolution "is against the worldwide consensus".

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 a Mideast mediator.

The recent decisions mentioned include President Trump's move to reverse decades of US policy on December 6 when he Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and announced plans to move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Along with the UK, France, Russia, and China, the U.S. is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, with the power to block any resolution from passing with the use of a veto.

"Regrettably one state chose to oppose the whole world and to stand against the whole world with regard to this long-standing issue", Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour told the council.

The US and the global community have long maintained that the solution to the Middle East conflict would be the formation of a Palestinian state - alongside the Israeli one - with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in an action not recognized internationally.

This has infuriated the Palestinians and Arab countries, which have strongly protested against the US move.

"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 immediately thanked Haley, posting on Twitter: "Truth defeated lies".

Following the US block on the U.N. resolution, a spokesman for Erdogan said that the annulment of Trump's decision would be sought in the U.N. General Assembly. One defeated the many.

  • Tracy Klein