Kuwait regrets US veto of Jerusalem resolution – UN General Assembly to vote

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MP Abdullah Fuhad Al-Enezi displaying the ‘kaffiyeh’ as a sign of support for Palestine in face of Trump’s move on Jerusalem

NEW YORK, Dec 19, (Agencies): Kuwait Ambassador to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi Monday expressed regret over the US veto of a UN draft resolution on Jerusalem, but said the US move was expected. The Egyptian-sponsored draft resolution was balanced and reaffirmed status of Jerusalem as listed in previous UN Security Council resolutions, Al-Otaibi told KUNA following the vote. The US veto is a “negative development that may promote more violence and tension, and abort chances of a permanent and just solution in the Middle East,” he added.

The US bias to Israel, recognition of Jerusalem as capital of the Jewish state and transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city are violating UN resolutions and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, he said. Al-Otaibi said East Jerusalem was an occupied Palestinian land and the US decision would not have “any legal effect.”

“The status of Jerusalem has been determined by many resolutions and the city is among the final status issues that should be resolved via negotiations,” he said. Al-Otaibi said the Arab group to the UN would table a resolution to the UN General Assembly in few days to affirm status of Jerusalem. “It is our responsibility to continue to act in international arenas to rally support against the American decision and isolate it,” he said.

Kuwait Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim said Monday the 14 UN Security Council members’ support of a draft resolution on Jerusalem, against a US veto, reflected “global rejection” of the American unilteral decision over the occupied city. The vote by the UNSC members “sends a clear message over the international overwhelming consensus that rejected” any unilateral move that considered Jerusalem a capital of the Zionist entity, Al-Ghanim said in a statement shortly after the vote.

Al-Ghanim thanked Egypt for sponsoring the resolution, which he considered “an international referendum over the rejection of political manipulation of the status of Al-Quds.” Al-Ghanim, addressing an urgent meeting of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in Morocco few days ago, called for a united Arab action vis-a-vis the US move. The State of Kuwait will highlight the Palestinian cause during its tenure as a non-permanent member of UNSC, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah Tuesday. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled’s statement came during his participation at the regular session of the National Assembly. The US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the step to move the American embassy to the holy city will be strongly protested, affirmed Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled. He indicated that the decision violated several UNSC resolutions on Palestine and it violated all international laws and norms. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said that the decision, if implemented, would crush all hopes for peace in the Middle East and it will be a direct slap towards the Arab peace initiative. Kuwait stands in solidarity with the Palestinians and it will support all efforts to establish a Palestinian state.

In regards to the US veto of a UNSC resolution condemning the Jerusalem decision late Monday, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled indicated that the resolution was a clear indication of the world’s disapproval of the American decision. He hoped that the US would reconsider the situation and back down from this unjust policy. Meanwhile, the Palestinian National Council (PNC) has termed as “supremacy” over the UN Charter and principles the US veto of a UNSC draft resolution calling for withdrawal of President’s Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This is the core of a PNC statement issued on Tuesday, in the wake of a vote Washington used against the draft resolution Egypt submitted to the UNSC, which in content called for scrapping the recognition move. The veto against the resolution, approved by the other 14 Member States, is shameful, the council stressed.

The UN draft resolution affirmed “that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.” This “supremacy, arrogance and aggression” practised by the US against the Palestinian rights and the UN Charter and resolutions, as well as the international consensus, will not the least alter the fact that “Jerusalem is a Palestinian city under occupation,” neither its “legal, political or historical status,” the PNC release noted. The PNC called for reforming the UN so that representation at the international organization would be “balanced and fair, to guarantee no bias nor work against peace.” It also held the US indirectly responsible for the “instability and chaos” in the region” through giving Israel, the occupation power, the green light to carry on with its “crimes against the (Palestinian) children and women and people with special needs, seizing vast areas of (Palestine) land for settlements.” The PNC, based in Amman, is the higher legislative authority representing the Palestinian people.

General Assembly
The UN General Assembly will hold an emergency session Thursday to vote on a draft resolution rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital after the United States vetoed the measure at the Security Council. Turkey and Yemen requested the urgent meeting of the 193-nation assembly on behalf of the Arab group of countries and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Miroslav Lajcak, the president of the General Assembly, informed all 193 delegations of the emergency session in a letter sent late Monday. Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour said a similar draft resolution will be presented to the assembly and he expects “overwhelming support” for the measure.

No country has veto powers in the 193-nation assembly, contrary to the council where the United States, along with Britain, China, France and Russia, can block any resolution. “The General Assembly will say, without the fear of the veto, that the international community is refusing to accept the unilateral position of the United States,” Mansour told reporters.


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