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'This vote will be remembered': UN votes 128-9 to reject US decision on Jerusalem

The UN General Assembly adopted by a decisive vote of 128 to 9 [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 December, 2017

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The UN General Assembly voted 128-9 to declare US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital 'null and void' on Thursday.
The UN General Assembly adopted a motion rejecting the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Thursday by a decisive vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions.

Thursday's vote, while a victory for the Palestinians, was significantly lower than its supporters had hoped for, with many forecasting at least 150 "yes" votes. 

The vote came despite threats and warnings from US and Israel leaders who were accused of bullying and blackmail.

President Donald Trump had warned ahead of the vote in the 193-nation assembly that "we're watching" and threatened reprisals against countries that back the measure. On Wednesday he had threatened to cut funding to countries that vote against the US on the motion.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the world on Thursday not to be swayed by Trump's threat.

"I am calling on the whole world: never sell your democratic will in return for petty dollars," he said in a televised speech in Ankara. 

However, US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the emergency meeting of the assembly that "no vote in the United Nations will make any difference" on Washington's decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, which will go ahead because "it is the right thing to do."

"The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very right of exercising our right as a sovereign nation," Haley said.

"We will remember it when we are called upon once again to make the world's largest contribution to the United Nations... And we will remember 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."

Haley said Thursday's vote "will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN, and this vote will be remembered."

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