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Palestine: Arab countries regret US veto of Jerusalem UN resolution

19th Dec 2017
Palestine: Arab countries regret US veto of Jerusalem UN resolution

By Zeynep Hilal Karyagdi and Gulsen Topcu

 

(AA): Arab countries decried the U.S. veto Monday of a UN resolution on Jerusalem.

The U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that rejected the establishment of diplomatic facilities in the contested city of Jerusalem, breaking with the rest of the council.

The move comes less than two weeks after Washington moved to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital and begin the process to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv — the city where all other nations house their main diplomatic facilities.

Fourteen council members voted in favor of the Egyptian-sponsored resolution that would have demanded U.S. President Donald Trump reverse course on the decision. The U.S. was the sole dissenting vote.

– Egypt

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid expressed regret in a written statement.

“Egypt is saddened by the veto of this important decision which heeds the conscience of the international community and openly rejects U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Abu Zeid noted that the Arab group in the UN will gather to assess the situation and discuss the steps to be taken for the protection of Jerusalem’s status.

– Palestine

Palestine’s presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina condemned the U.S. veto, calling it a mockery of the international community and a concession to Israeli occupation and aggression, according to Palestine’s official news agency WAFA.

Abu Rudeina stressed that this veto would lead to further isolation of the U.S. and is a provocation of the international community.

Palestine’s Hamas group said in a written statement that Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital forever, and decisions of the U.S. and Israel would not change this fact.

In the statement, Hamas urged the international community and the Arab and Islamic world to act for the preservation of Jerusalem and holy places and warned Israel not to take steps to change Jerusalem’s present status.

– Kuwait

“This counter-stance against unilateral steps on Jerusalem’s recognition as the capital of Israel shows that we are not alone, and our actual concern should be the free world,” Merzuk Ali El Ganim, Kuwait’s parliament speaker, said in a written statement.

He also thanked Egypt for the resolution it submitted to the UN Security Council, which is like an international referendum.

– Qatar

Ali Karadaghi, secretary general of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) headquartered in Qatar, described the decision on his Twitter account as ‘terror and a challenge for all countries’.

Jerusalem’s status has long been considered a final status issue to be determined by Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, and Trump’s decision is widely seen as undercutting that longstanding understanding. East Jerusalem, which Palestinians are seeking as the capital of their state, was occupied by Israel in 1967.

[Photo:  United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (R) uses Veto against Egypt draft on U.S. recognition of Jerusalem at the U.N. Security Council meeting at U.N. Headquarters in New York, United States on December 18, 2017. Photographer: Mohammed Elshamy/AA]

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