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Jerusalem: New Bronca expected at UN against Trump

Ⓒ AFP – KENA BETANCUR – | US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at the United Nations Security Council on December 18, 2017 in New York

After the Security Council, the UN General Assembly votes Thursday on a resolution condemning the recognition by Washington of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, against a backdrop of threats by Donald Trump against those who adopt this text.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us,” stormed the US president on the eve of the vote. “Let them vote against us, we will save a lot, we do not care.”

The way its UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, reacted on Monday to this scathing disavowal in a Security Council vote on a resolution condemning recognition was, however, anything but indifferent.

This vote “is an insult we will not forget”, launched the dark eye, the diplomat to its 14 partners of the Council, including its European allies, who unanimously approved the condemnation of the decision of Donald Trump of 6 December.

In the end, the text was not adopted, the United States having used its permanent member veto.

Ⓒ AFP – SAUL LOEB – | US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L), December 20, 2017 at the White House in Washington

At the UN General Assembly, which has 193 members and where the vote is scheduled from 15:00 GMT Thursday, no country has the right to veto resolutions, which are not binding.

The issue of voting will be the number of states that will approve the resolution.

– Threats and pressures –

Ⓒ AFP/Archives – Ahmad GHARABLI – | Al-Aqsa Mosque, December 15, 2017 in Jerusalem

The text, proposed by Yemen and Turkey, states that any decision on the status of Jerusalem “has no legal force, is null and void and must be revoked”. He recalled all the resolutions adopted by the United Nations relating to the colonization of Palestinian territories and stressed that the question of Jerusalem must be part of a final peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

The double vote this week at the UN at the initiative of Palestinians, who have observer status in the Organization, aims to maximize their weight in a possible future peace plan, says a diplomat.

Asked by AFP, several ambassadors expect a score in the General Assembly oscillating between 165 and 190 votes for. “If it’s 130, it would be bad,” says one of them.

While Nikki Haley has barely lobbied the Security Council, the United States has radically changed its approach to voting in the General Assembly, increasing threats and pressures.

Tweet, email, letter … Everything has been used to try to prevent a new diplomatic setback. “At the UN, we are always asked to do more and give more” and “we do not expect those we have helped to target us”. Thursday, “the United States will note the names,” threatened Nikki Haley in a tweet.

“The president will watch this vote carefully and he asked me to tell him which countries voted against us,” the diplomat added in a letter.

– Sidage of diplomats –

These American warnings, from the president and his ambassador, have stunned many UN diplomats.

“This is not how it works, we vote on principles,” told AFP an Asian ambassador on condition of anonymity. “We can not vote A for years and vote suddenly B,” adds a counterpart from Latin America.

With these pressures, “the United States can have a dozen abstentions of countries that could also choose not to vote,” said a third ambassador, European that one.

According to a diplomatic official, Canada, the Czech Republic and Hungary may not adopt the resolution, illustrating the European Union’s inability to have a united position.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki, who will attend the vote, denounced Washington’s “threats” and “intimidation”. United Allied with NATO, Turkey has also rebelled.

“The world has changed The logic of the + I am strong, so I’m right + changed”. “No nation that has the honor, no self-respecting state is bowing to this kind of pressure,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu.

Israel annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem, which it took control during the 1967 war, and passed a law making the Holy City its “indivisible” capital. This annexation has never been recognized by the international community and the Palestinians regard East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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