WASHINGTON: The US faced complete isolation and humiliation in the UN General Assembly on Thursday as the world body took up for voting a draft resolution criticising President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The General Assembly adopted the resolution with 128 countries voting in favour, nine against and 35 abstaining. Those who voted against Trump’s move also disregarded his threat of cutting aid to countries that backed the draft resolution and called out the US president for “bullying”.
Trump’s threat came a day after his ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the US will be “taking names” as “we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us”. She had just vetoed to defeat a proposed resolution in the Security Council asking America to reverse its decision.
India was among the countries that voted in favour of draft resolution. It had earlier said its position on Palestine is “independent and consistent” and that “it is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country”.
But diplomatic sources said it was a tough call, in view of India’s growing proximity to the US and Israel, whose prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting India in January.
The resolution, which is nonbinding, is likely to go through, given the overwhelming support a similar resolution received in the UN Security Council on Monday — 14 of its 15 members voted in favour of the resolution which failed because the US vetoed it.
However, there are no veto powers in the General Assembly.
On Wednesday, Trump had said: “Let them vote against us… We’ll save a lot. We don’t care. But this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars.
“We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”
Haley echoed the sentiment in remarks on the floor of the General Assembly. “When we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have a legitimate expectation that our goodwill is recognised and respected. When a nation is singled out for attack in this organisation, that nation is disrespected. What’s more, that nation is asked to pay for the ‘privilege’ of being disrespected.”
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