US says it is 'taking names' of countries who oppose Donald Trump's Jerusalem decision

'The president and the US take this vote personally'

Harriet Agerholm
Wednesday 20 December 2017 13:49
US vetos UN security council vote on condemning Trump's Jerusalem decision

The US ambassador to the United Nations has warned she is "taking names" of UN members who oppose Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In a letter to UN members, Nikki Haley said the US President took the issue personally and the names of those who supported a resolution rejecting the bill would be reported to him.

“As you consider your vote, I want you to know the president and the US take this vote personally," she said.

She described Mr Trump's decision to move the US embassy as "an acknowledgement that peace is best advanced ... when all parties are honest with each other about the basic fact that Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since the country's founding".

“The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us," she added.

In a Twitter post, she said: "At the UN we're always asked to do more & give more.

"So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us.

"On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names."

The 193-member UN general assembly, where there are no vetoes, will hold an emergency session on Thursday to vote on the latest resolution at the request of Turkey and Yemen.

The international community has broadly condemned Mr Trump's decision to move the embassy, with Turkey describing it as "a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts".

Earlier this week, the US was outnumbered 14 to 1 at a UN security council vote on a resolution calling on America to reverse its decision, but the nation used its veto to block the measure.

Ms Haley described the 14-1 vote as an "insult", warning: "It won't be forgotten".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Ms Haley and Mr Trump for the veto in a video posted on his Facebook page, in which he said the US Ambassador "lit a candle of truth" and dispelled "lies".

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the veto "threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it".

Britain was among the nations that supported the resolution and Downing Street said Theresa May restated her disagreement with Mr Trump's decision after the vote during a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"The Prime Minister reiterated that the UK disagreed with the decision and believed it to be unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region," a No 10 spokesperson said.

She added that the status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and that Jerusalem should ultimately form a shared capital between the Israeli and Palestinian states.

The Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour, said said he hopes for "overwhelming support" at Thursday's general assembly vote.

Israel considers Jerusalem its indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there, while Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city's eastern sector, which Israel annexed in a 1967 war.

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