India joins more than 100 countries to reject Donald Trump’s Jerusalem move

NEW DELHI: India joined 127 other countries in the UN General Assembly on Thursday to vote for a resolution that effectively rejected United States president Donald Trump‘s move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, declaring it “null and void”. The resolution was passed 128 to 9 and 35 abstentions.
The US was joined by Israel, Honduras, Guatemala, Togo, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Micronesia, and a notable abstention was the US’s neighbour Canada.

The resolution was in support of the long-standing international consensus that the status of Jerusalem — which is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians as a capital — can only be settled as an agreed final issue in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

This was the second time in a week that the US found itself isolated on this issue. On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council voted on an Egypt-sponsored resolution 14-1, with the US using its veto power to block the vote.

On Thursday, all key US allies — UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Spain and China — voted to condemn US’s move to shift its embassy to Jerusalem.

There had been speculation that India might vote with the US given its growing closeness with both US and Israel.But in September, addressing the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) committee on the Palestine cause on the sidelines of the UNGA, foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj said, “India’s expanding relations in the region would strengthen the Palestinian cause.

During PM’s visit to Israel we reiterated the need for a just and durable peace in the region. The path to this clearly lies in an early negotiated solution between Israel and Palestine based on mutual recognition and security arrangements.” It was during India’s chairmanship of NAM in 1983 that the committee on Palestine was set up.

The vote comes after Trump himself threatened to cut aid to countries who voted against the US. The US’s envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, was even more blunt. “The US will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” Haley said on Thursday.

 “We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit.”