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India joins UN majority, condemns Trump's decision on Jerusalem

In the UNGA, an unusually large number--35 countries -- abstained, and 21 others were absent, showing that Trump's threats had some effect.

IANS  |  New York 

UNGA, US, India, Jerusalem, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley
128 countries vote in favor of UN call for U.S. to withdraw decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, 9 countries oppose: Reuters. Photo credits @ANI

joined the majority in voting for a resolution criticising US Donald Trump's decision to unilaterally declare the capital of and move Washington's embassy there.

The resolution that was passed by a two-thirds majority on Thursday demanded comply with decisions against changing the status of and declared US and Israeli action on the city "null and void".

It, however, only expressed "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem", stopping short of naming the US or condemning it outright.

Defying Trump's threats to cut off aid to countries that voted for the resolution, 128 countries voted for the resolution, while nine countries joined the US and in voting against it.

An unusually large number -- 35 countries -- abstained, and 21 others were absent, showing that Trump's threats had some effect.

US Permanent repeated Trump's warning on aid before the vote describing support for it an "insult" to her country.

"We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world's largest contribution to the UN," she said. "And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit."

Palestinian said that by voting for the resolution nations would be rejecting attempts at blackmail and intimidation.

He warned that Washington's action could lead to a religious war that "has no boundaries" and only served the interests of extremists.

The Assembly resolution followed the US veto on Monday of a similar resolution in the introduced by All the other 14 Council members voted for it, isolating the US.

The Assembly resolution was sponsored by on behalf of the Arab Group in the UN, and by on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Representing the OIC, Turkey's Mevlut Cavusoglu said that was the holy city of three monotheistic religions and its historic status had to be preserved.

Referring to the US' threats to withhold aid, he said such "bullying" was unethical and votes were not for sale.

While the Assembly resolutions do not have the legal clout of the Council resolutions, they carry political clout, especially when endorsed by a two-thirds majority.

Previous Council resolutions have said that the status of Jerusalem and territories occupied by after the 1967 war should not be altered unilaterally.

While close US allies like Britain, and Japan, which had voted for the resolution in Council, again broke ranks with it in the Assembly, there were some surprises. Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's claims to follow a progressive foreign policy, abstained.

Five of the countries that voted with the US and Israel were tiny Pacific island nations like Micronesia, and two were from No country of any significance politically or in size voted for the resolution, even if some of them abstained or absented themselves.



First Published: Fri, December 22 2017. 11:47 IST