Mideast Daily News

U.S. To ‘Take Names’ Over UN General Assembly Jerusalem Vote

By Charles Bybelezer | The Media Line

December 20, 2017

Ambassador Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, speaks to the media on August 25, 2017 at the United Nations in New York. (Photo: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley asserted that Washington will be “taking names” of countries that support a draft resolution—set for a General Assembly vote on Thursday—rejecting President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Her comments came just days after the U.S. vetoed a similar initiative in the Security Council, which garnered support from the other fourteen states of the 15-member body. The council’s five permanent nations—the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China—all maintain veto power and can therefore block any resolution. Turkey and Yemen arranged the upcoming General Assembly meeting by invoking a UN resolution passed in 1950 stipulating that a special session can be called “with a view to making appropriate recommendations to members for collective measures [if the Security Council fails to act].” Only 10 such gatherings have ever been convened, the last one being in 2009 to discuss Israel’s military presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Presently, a draft resolution declaring that any changes to Jerusalem’s status have no legal validity and must be rescinded is being circulated among the 193-member forum. The Palestinian permanent observer in the UN, Riyad Mansour, said he expected “overwhelming support” when the vote is held. For its part, Israel sent a memo to its missions around the world advising diplomats to encourage their host countries to oppose the move, or, at the very least, urge their counterparts to refrain from expressing public support for it. The proposal is expected to pass by a wide margin, although General Assembly resolutions are essentially symbolic and not legally binding.

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