US vetoes UN resolution that called Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision ‘null and void’
Key allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine were among countries that backed the measure asserting that any decisions on the holy city’s status have no legal effect
The United States on Monday vetoed a draft UN resolution rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after all 14 other Security Council members backed the measure.
The veto cast by US Ambassador Nikki Haley highlighted Washington’s isolation over Trump’s announcement that the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, effectively ignoring Palestinian claims on the city.
Key US allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine were among the 14 countries in the 15-member council that backed the measure asserting that any decisions on the status of Jerusalem “have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”
“The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy,” Haley told the council after the veto.
Egypt put forward the draft resolution which insists that Jerusalem is an issue “to be resolved through negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians and expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem”, without specifically mentioning Trump’s move.
The United States along with Britain, China, France and Russia can veto any resolution presented to the council, which requires nine votes for adoption.
Breaking with international consensus, Trump announced on December 6 that he would recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, triggering protests and strong condemnation.
US Vice-President Mike Pence has delayed a planned visit to the Middle East, the White House said on Monday amid global anger over Washington’s policy shift on Jerusalem.
The trip to Egypt and Israel, which was due to begin on Tuesday, was pushed back to mid-January, allowing Pence to remain in Washington in case he needs to cast the deciding vote in the Senate over President Donald Trump’s tax reforms.
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.
The draft resolution had included a call on all countries to refrain from opening embassies in Jerusalem, reflecting concerns that other governments could follow the US lead.
It demanded that all member-states not recognise any actions that are contrary to UN resolutions on the status of the city.