After US veto, UN General Assembly to meet on Jerusalem status

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UNITED NATIONS: The 193-member United Nations General Assembly will hold a rare emergency special session today (Thursday) at the request of Arab and Muslim states on US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said the General Assembly would vote on a draft resolution calling for Trump’s declaration to be withdrawn, which was vetoed by the United States in the 15-member UN Security Council on Monday.

The remaining 14 Security Council members voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically mention the United States or Trump but which expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”

Mansour said on Monday he hoped there would be “overwhelming support” in the General Assembly for the resolution. Such a vote is non-binding, but carries political weight.

Trump threatens to cut aid to UN members

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote in favour of the draft calling for the United States to withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

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

“The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us. We will take note of each and every vote on this issue,” Haley wrote.

‘Pakistan to reiterate support for Palestinians’

Pakistan will fully support and co-sponsor resolution for the withdrawal of US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, said Pakistan’s permanent representative in the UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi.

While addressing the OIC Ambassadorial Group at the United Nations on Tuesday, Lodhi said: “Our support to the Palestinian cause and to the defence of al-Quds al-Sharif is and has always been a core principle of Pakistan’s foreign policy.”

She added, “Our support remains unwavering.” The OIC Ambassadorial Group met ahead of the UN General Assembly’s special emergency session on Jerusalem status.

2017-12-21

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