Donald Trump will hold an exclusive party for countries who did not vote to approve a United Nations resolution condemning his administration's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, said the US would be staging a reception for those nations who did not oppose America’s position on Jerusalem on Wednesday night.
"As I said in December, we won't forget the Jerusalem vote. To that end, tomorrow night, we are having a reception for the countries who chose not to oppose the US position [on Jerusalem],” Ms Haley said at a news conference on Tuesday.
In December, Ms Haley sent a "Save the Date" invitation to the 64 countries who did not lend their backing to the resolution to thank them for their "friendship to the United States."
Last month, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution criticising America’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and launch the process of transporting its embassy there. The move radically reversed decades of US policy in the region and the majority of observers said it would hinder attempts to establish peace in the Middle East.
Although the resolution is not legally binding, it is part of a global effort to push the Trump team to rethink its decision.
In an embarrassing blow to the US president on the global stage, the UN General Assembly voted by 128 to nine to announce his controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void”.
Togo, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Micronesia, Palau, Honduras and Guatemala joined America and Israel in voting against the UN resolution so have all been invited to the special party.
Britain voted for the motion, as did India and Russia.
Thirty-five countries, many in Africa and Latin America, abstained from the vote. Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Malawi, and several Caribbean and Pacific island nations all sat out of the vote.
Canada, Poland, Australia, and Mexico also abstained in what was perhaps linked to other political pressures from the US.
Prior to the vote, the Trump administration threatened to “take names” of countries and cut off humanitarian aid funding.
Ms Haley issued a stern warning the US would be “taking names” of any countries who supported the resolution condemning the actions of the Trump administration. According to the Associated Press, Ms Haley wrote to most of the 193 UN members states warning of possible retaliation, saying Mr Trump was taking the issue personally.
“For all these nations, they take our money and then vote against us. They take hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions of dollars and then they vote against us,” Mr Trump said to members of his cabinet before the vote.
“We’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah hailed the UN vote as a “victory for Palestine”.
He said: “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 as its capital”.
Just days before the vote, the US used its veto power at the UN Security Council to block a similar measure.
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