After US veto, UNGA to meet on Jerusalem status

21 December, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Bert Pena
  • 2017 Evan Vucci  AP      
                                               Richard Lachmann

US recognition of Jerusalem was welcomed in Israel but rejected by much of the world.

Nonetheless, Erdogan's announcement is likely to fuel American and Israeli concerns that US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Jewish state's capital on December 6 will be used as a pretext for renewed anti-Israel campaigns at the UN General Assembly, as well as bodies like the UN Human Rights Council, which retains a permanent agenda item - "Item 7" - devoted to alleged Israeli abuses.

Mansour said on Monday he hoped there would be "overwhelming support" in the General Assembly for the resolution.

Egypt had put forward the draft at the council which was backed by all 14 other Security Council members in the vote on Monday.

The U.S. veto defeated 14 raised hands in favor at the Security Council earlier this week, but the Palestinians have taken the issue to the General Assembly for a vote on Thursday, and Israeli diplomats at the worldwide body were put on high alert.

Earlier, the USA vetoed the same resolution in the U.N. Security Council, where it has permanent veto power. Such a vote is non-binding, but carries political weight.

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Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters after meeting with the General Assembly president that he expects a vote this week.

The UN General Assembly will hold a special session on Thursday, following a request by Arab and Muslim states.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley, in a letter to dozens of UN states on Tuesday seen by Reuters, warned that the United States would remember those who voted for the resolution criticising the US decision.

Trump's Jerusalem decision upended decades of USA policy on Jerusalem, and has threatened to derail future peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians - talks that Trump has vowed to broker.

The two countries circulated a draft resolution on Tuesday that mirrors the vetoed measure, reaffirming that any decision on the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be rescinded. 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.

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