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16.03 21 Dec 2017


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Updated: 19.40

Ireland has voted in favour of a United Nations General Assembly resolution criticising the United States' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The assembly voted 128-9 to declare the decision by the US as "null and void".

This broke down as 128 in favour, nine against, with 35 abstentions.

The only countries to vote against it were Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Togo and the United States.

A breakdown of the UN General Assembly resolution on Jerusalem | Image via @nadplo on Twitter

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs says: "Ireland voted today in favour of a resolution in the UN General Assembly on Jerusalem.

"This vote was in line with our established position on this issue.

"The vast majority of our EU partners voted in the same way.

"It has been the united position of the international community for decades, as set out in UN Security Council Resolutions, that a resolution of the Middle East conflict will include agreement for Jerusalem to be the capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine.

"Ireland and the US share many core values, but there are occasionally issues on which we have different views.

"The status of Jerusalem is one such issue. We have no difficulty with our partners and friends having strong views and expressing them robustly, notwithstanding the fact that we may take a different view, as we do in this case."

In a tweet earlier, Ireland's Mission to the UN said it was a "full house" in the assembly.

The emergency meeting was called to consider a resolution on the status of the city, after the US moved to recognise it as the capital of Israel.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the vote was "a victory for Palestine".

"We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital."

A tweet from the  Palestine Liberation Organisation said: "This vote is a clear message to the Palestinian people and to the rest of the world that violations of International Law are null and void.

"We call upon the world to translate today's vote into concrete action, including recognition of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital."

 

The vote followed a UN Security Council resolution which was vetoed by the US after the other 14 member countries - including Britain and France - backed it.

Turkey's president heavily criticised Mr Trump for threatening to cut off US funding to countries that oppose his decision.

Before the vote, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped the United States would be "taught a lesson" and accused US President Donald Trump of seeking countries whose "decisions can be bought with dollars."

"Mr Trump, you cannot buy Turkey's democratic will with your dollars. Our decision is clear," he said.

Acknowledging the resolution was likely to be passed ahead of the result, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu branded the UN a "house of lies" and said it "completely rejects" the vote.

Recent tweets by the US representative at the UN had issued stark warnings to other members over the vote.

Nikki Haley had said that "when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us.

"On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names."

She also quoted Mr Trump, who said: "Let them vote against us, we'll save a lot."

In a speech earlier this month, US President Donald Trump said the move was long overdue and claimed it was a "necessary condition" for achieving peace.

It has received widespread condemnation from world leaders and political groups.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called on other countries to recognise a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

While a statement signed by France, Germany, Sweden, Italy and the UK voiced opposition to the stance and noted that the recognition is "not in line with Security Council resolutions and is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region."

A protest was also held in Dublin against the move.

Additional reporting: IRN


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