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United Nations 'unites' on Jerusalem issue: Defiant US makes it personal, says votes make no difference

US ambassador to UN - Nikki Haley - has said her country will keep a close watch on countries that disrespected US by voting in favour of a resolution opposing Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

United Nations 'unites' on Jerusalem issue: Defiant US makes it personal, says votes make no difference
Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN.

New Delhi: An overwhelming 128 countries voted to reject in favour of a resolution opposing the recent decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital. This despite a Trump threat to cut off financial aid to those voting against the decision. Little wonder then that the US hit back hard after the final outcome and remained defiant.

Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, said late on Thursday that her country will carry on with plans of shifting its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and warned of repercussions for countries who voted against US decision. "America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what American people want us to do. And it is the right thing to do. No vote in the United Nations will make any difference to that," she said. "But this vote will make a difference to how Americans look at the UN and how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN."

 

 

The US has been widely criticised for Trump administration's decision earlier this month recognising Jerusalem as capital of Israel. While most of the protests have been in Muslim countries, voices of concern over the stability of West Asia have been reverberating elsewhere as well.

Only nine countries voted against the resolution opposing US decision on Jerusalem and another 35 countries abstained. Haley, as a token of thanks, invited these countries to a reception on January 3 in what is being seen as a symbolic step in a prestige battle. Countries which voted against the resolution were US, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and Togo. Prominent countries which abstained from voting were Australia, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Mexico, Hungary, Poland, Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan.

India voted in favour of the resolution.

Trump had already issued a terse warning even before the voting actually took place. "Let them vote against us. We will save a lot. We don't care. These nations take our money and then come to the UN and vote against us," he had said. The US had already vetoed the resolution in the Security Council.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went several steps further and called UN 'a house of lies.' 

Meanwhile, there were scenes of celebration in Palestine. 

Nabil Abu Rdineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement on Thursday that the resolution expresses the international community`s support for the Palestinians' rights. "The threats of Trump to the UN members didn`t prevent them from voting in favour of the resolution," said Abu Rdineh.