UNITED NATIONS, United States — The UN General Assembly will hold an emergency session on Thursday to vote on a draft resolution rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital after the US vetoed the measure at the Security Council.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN reacted angrily to the move, tweeting: “On Thurs there’ll be a vote criticising our choice. The US will be taking names,” in rhetoric reminiscent of her boss’s threatening style.
Turkey and Yemen requested the urgent meeting of the 193-nation assembly on behalf of the Arab group of countries and the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
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mirrors the vetoed measure, reaffirming that any decision on the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be rescinded.
Egypt had put forward the draft at the council which was backed by all 14 other Security Council members in the vote on Monday.
Like the Egyptian draft, the text before the assembly does not mention Trump’s decision but expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”
Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour said he expected “overwhelming support” for the measure stating that Jerusalem is an issue “to be resolved through negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians.
“The General Assembly will say, without the fear of the veto, that the international community is refusing to accept the unilateral position of the US,” Mansour told reporters.
No country has veto powers in the 193-nation assembly, contrary to the council where the US, along with Britain, China, France and Russia, can block any resolution.
Trump’s December 6 decision to recognise Jerusalem broke with international consensus, triggering protests across the Muslim world and drawing strong condemnation.
Key US allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine were among the 14 countries in the 15-member council that voted in favour of the measure.
US Ambassador Haley described that 14-1 vote “an insult” and warned “it won’t be forgotten.”
After the clash at the top UN body, the White House announced that US Vice President Mike Pence was delaying a trip to the Middle East planned for this week.
Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state.
Several UN resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from territory seized during the 1967 war. — AFP