US raises prospect of Trump-Putin meeting at the White House
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Mozambique was among the 128 countries which supported Thursday’s resolution at the United Nations General Assembly which effectively demanded that the United States withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Part of the resolution stated: “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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the [UN] Security Council”.
The resolution called upon all States “to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem”.
This follows the stinging rebuke given to US President Donald Trump at the Security Council a few days earlier, where US Ambassador Nikki Haley was completely isolated. A resolution calling on the US to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, won the support of all the other 14 members of the Council, including countries normally regarded as close US allies, such as Britain and France.
The resolution will have no effect, because Haley used the US veto against it. She was furious, describing the resolution as “an insult” that the US would not forget.
At the General Assembly, most members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) voted in favour of the resolution. The exceptions were Lesotho and Malawi, which abstained, and Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Swaziland, which were not present in the chamber when the vote took place.
The Trump administration attempted to browbeat countries into opposing the resolution, threatening to cut aid from those which voted against the US. Haley said the US was “taking the names” of those who voted for the resolution, and declared that Trump and the US “are taking this vote personally”.
“We don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us”, she threatened.
Trump himself backed up Haley’s threats. “Let them vote against us,” he said on Wednesday. “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.”
A dignified response to these threats came from the government of Botswana. A press release from the Botswana Foreign Ministry said the govermment had received a communication from Haley stating “The President will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us. We shall take note of each and every vote on this issue”.
The Botswana Ministry retorted that this was “a threatening and grossly inappropriate communication” intended to undermine the sovereignty of Botswana.
“Botswana will not be intimidated by such threats and will exercise its Sovereign right”, it continued. “It will vote based on its foreign policy principles which affirm that Jerusalem is a fundamental final status issue which must be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions”.Source: AIM