UNITED NATIONS – The United States vetoed on Monday in the UN Security Council a resolution calling on Washington to de-recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to cancel its plans to transfer its embassy to that city.
The text, sponsored by Egypt, was supported by 14 of the 15 Council members, but Washington used its veto power to prevent it from being approved.
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, breaking with decades of international consensus that the final status of the city must be agreed to in a peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
Earlier on Monday, the US had defended its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and suggested that it would veto the resolution, which was to be voted on later in the day.
The resolution had the support of a clear majority of the body, including US allies such as France and the United Kingdom.
At a UN session last week, Washington’s ambassador to the international body, Nikki Haley, emphasized that the US, as a sovereign nation, has “every right” to locate its embassy in Jerusalem.
Haley did not openly say that the US would veto the resolution proposed by Egypt, which reiterates the UN position on the matter, but she strongly suggested that she would do so.
The envoy referred to the resolution approved a year ago by the Security Council demanding that Israel end its program of establishing settlements in occupied territories, a measure that was approved thanks to Washington’s abstention, and she said that the US would not repeat what she said was a mistake.
That decision by the Barack Obama administration has been harshly criticized by the Trump administration, which maintains a much closer relationship with Israel than Obama did.
Haley said that if the US could now vote again on that earlier resolution, it would exercise its veto power, but she also said that the Egyptian resolution’s text is merely another obstacle to peace talks and is another example of “partiality” against Israel at the UN.
In a 14-1 vote on Dec. 8, the Security Council expressed condemnation of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
The Egyptian resolution does not mention the US but expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”