U.N. General Assembly meeting set over U.S. veto of Jerusalem resolution

By Allen Cone  |  Dec. 19, 2017 at 2:41 PM
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Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The U.N. General Assembly will meet in an emergency session this week after the United States vetoed a resolution to reject the Trump administration's new policy of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

A bloc of Arab nations, Turkey and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation requested the meeting of the entire 193-nation U.N. body. The Palestinian Authority is a non-member observer in the United Nations.

On Dec. 6, President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced plans to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv.

On Monday, the U.N. Security Council voted in favor of the resolution by a vote of 14-1. The United States voted against the measure, one of five permanent members with veto power. No nation, though, can veto resolutions in the General Assembly.

Miroslav Lajcak, general assembly president, did not say when the meeting will be held. Riyad Mansour, Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, said he expected the special session to take place Wednesday or Thursday.

The request for the meeting is in accordance with the principle of "Uniting for Peace" -- a reference to General Assembly 1950 Resolution 377A that allows the assembly to consider matters if the Security Council fails to exercise its primary responsibility regarding international peace and security.

Because of the large number of Arab and Muslim nations, the measure is expected to pass the assembly -- but it would only be symbolic.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called the Security Council resolution "an insult" -- and said a sovereign nation has "every right" to decide where to put its embassy.

Mansou told reporters in Ramallah in the West Bank after the veto the "the U.S. decision encourages Israel to persist in its crimes against the Palestinian people and to continue its occupation of our territory" and that "no rhetoric will hide this complacency in prolonging the occupation."

The United Nations does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and opposed the annexation of East Jerusalem after the 1967 Six Day War.

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