UN General Assembly rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Dec 22, 2017 15:50 IST
UN General Assembly rejects US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

The United Nations General Assembly resolution, declaring US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as ‘null and void’, was passed with an overwhelming majority on 21 December 2017.

The resolution moved by Turkey and Yemen was passed despite US President Donald Trump’s threats to cut funding to US aid recipients who voted in favor. Overall, 128 nations including India voted in favour of the resolution, 9 voted against and 35 abstained from voting.

The symbolic vote by the General Assembly is not, however, legally binding.

The UN General Assembly resolution

The draft resolution rejecting the US move was sent to the General Assembly after it was vetoed by the United States at the Security Council on 18 December, although all other 14 council members voted in favour.

The resolution stresses on the fact that Jerusalem is a final status issue that requires being resolved through negotiations.

It demands that all States comply with Security Council resolutions regarding Jerusalem, and not recognise any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.

The resolution was drafted following Trump’s announcement of shifting the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officially recognising the ancient city as the capital of Israel.

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US’s reaction

Trump stated during a cabinet meeting on 10 December, “Let them vote against us, we don't care. But this isn't like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars."

Strongly supporting Trump's decision, US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley warned that the US may strip funding of those countries that voted in favour of the UN resolution.

She said that no vote in the United Nations will make any difference on the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, which will go ahead because it is the right thing to do.

 UN adopts resolution against US’s Jerusalem move, despite threats

Haley also stated that the US will remember the voting when it is called upon to once again, make the world's largest contribution to the United Nations.

Israel’s reaction

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the UN vote but expressed satisfaction at the number of countries that didn't vote for the measure.

Palestine’s reaction

The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution.

His spokesman said in a statement that this decision reaffirms once again that the just Palestinian cause enjoys the support of international law and no decision by any party can change the reality.

US President recognises Jerusalem as capital of Israel, promises to move US embassy

Nations that opposed the resolution

The countries that opposed the resolution rejecting US’s decision on Jerusalem included the United States along with Israel, Guatemala, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Honduras and Togo.

The nations that abstained from voting include US allies such as Canada, Mexico, Australia, Bhutan, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania.

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