December 22, 2017 6:33:00 am
Some 128 countries defied US President Donald Trump on Thursday and voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution calling for Washington to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump had threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favor of the resolution. After the vote, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, tweeted that the United States “will be taking names.”
Washington found itself isolated as many of its Western and Arab allies voted for the measure. Some of those allies, like Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, are major recipients of U.S. military or economic aid, although the U.S. threat to cut aid did not single out any country. Among countries that abstained were Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda. Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo joined the United States and Israel in voting no.
Following are reactions to the vote:
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan: “Mr. Trump, you cannot buy Turkey’s democratic will with your dollars. The dollars will come back, but your will won’t once it’s sold.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif: “A resounding global NO to Trump regime’s thuggish intimidation at UN.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Jerusalem is our capital, always was, always will be. But I do appreciate the fact that a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this theatre of the absurd.”
Spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdainah: “The vote is 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.”
French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre: “The resolution adopted today only confirms relevant international law provisions on Jerusalem.”
Botswana’s Ministry of International Affairs: “Botswana will not be intimidated by such threats and will exercise her sovereign right and vote based on her foreign policy principles, which affirm that Jerusalem is a fundamental final status issue, which must be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions.”
Canadian Ambassador to the UN, Marc-Andre Blanchard, on Canada decision to abstain from voting: “We are disappointed that this resolution is one-sided and does not advance prospects for peace to which we aspire which is why we have abstained on today’s vote”
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