President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been declared “null and void” by the U.N. General Assembly
The vote was 128 to 9, with thirty-five countries abstaining. The UK voted ‘yes’ in disagreement with President Donald Trump’s decision along with Russia and India.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah described the vote as ‘a victory for Palestine’.
The Independent reports: Just days after the US used its veto power at the UN Security Council to block a similar measure, the General Assembly resoundingly condemned the America’s unilateral action, which most observers said would hamper efforts to secure peace in the Middle East.
While the vote has little practical impact – it is not legally binding – it is a considerable embarrassment for the US as it reflects global opinion.
As the US licked its wounds, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah seized on what he said was a “victory for Palestine”.
We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation, and to establish our Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Mr Rdainah said.
Thirty-five countries, many in Africa and Latin America, abstained from the vote.
Experts had predicted at least 150 votes in support of the motion. There was speculation that the high number of abstentions was a result of the Trump administration’s threat to “take names” of countries and cut off humanitarian aid funding.
Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Malawi, and several Caribbean and Pacific island nations all abstained. Canada, Poland, Australia, and Mexico also joined them in sitting out the vote, in perhaps a nod to other political pressures from the US.
Britain voted for the motion, as did India and Russia.
Ahead of the vote, the US’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had warned that the US would would be “taking names” of any countries who supported a resolution criticising Washington’s actions.
The Associated Press said Ms Haley had written to most of the 193 UN members states warning of possible retaliation. She said the President was taking the matter personally.
Speaking to members of his cabinet on Wednesday, Mr Trump said he liked what Ms Haley had spelled out. “For all these nations, they take our money and then vote against us. They take hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions of dollars and then they vote against us,” Mr Trump said.