United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, on Wednesday hosted 64 representatives of nations who abstained, voted ‘no’ or remained absent in a December UN General Assembly vote condemning President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The Jerusalem Post reported that, under the title “A great evening of friends,” the U.S. mission to the UN in New York hosted a reception that included wine and live music, and was attended by Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N.
Guests also were greeted by President Trump, who pre-taped a video for the occasion. “I want to thank all the nations represented here tonight for standing with the United States during the recent United Nations General Assembly vote on the status of Jerusalem,” Trump said. “Rest assured that your actions on Thursday, December 21– will go down as a very important date– were noted and greatly appreciated.”
“The United States remains committed to achieving lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians – there’s no reason that peace should not be entered into,” Trump added. “We will continue to work with the partners like you to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for the region, for the people, and for the world,” the President concluded.
On December 21, 128 countries voted at the UN against the U.S.’s recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the decision to relocate its embassy to the city. The move drew harsh responses from the U.S. and Israel. Haley not only threatened to cut off aid to these countries, but also accused them of disrespecting the will of the American people.
Nine countries — the U.S., Israel, Togo, Micronesia, Guatemala, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands and Honduras — voted against it. There were 35 abstentions, including a number of countries that had been widely expected to support the move, such as Colombia, Mexico, Malawi and Rwanda. A further 21 countries did not vote at all.
“It’s easy for friends to be with you in the good times, but it’s the friends who are with you during the challenging times that will never be forgotten. Thank you to the 64,” Haley’s Twitter page said, sharing photos of the event.
After the reception, Danon told The Jerusalem Post that the U.S. decision has “unveiled the hypocrisy of the Palestinians, who speak of peace while doing all they can to avoid negotiations.”
Danon continued: “I was honored to take part in a reception hosted by Ambassador Nikki Haley for the countries that stood by the US during the UN vote on Jerusalem,” adding that “Israel has no better friend than the United States, and the US has no more steadfast ally than Israel. We thank Ambassador Haley and the American people for their strong stance on behalf of truth and historical justice.”
[Photo: Flickr / IIP Photo Archive]