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UN Security Council to meet Friday to discuss Jerusalem

UN chief Antonio Guterres will brief the Security Council on Jerusalem Friday [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 December, 2017

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The United Nations Security Council will meet on Friday at the request of eight states over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The United Nations Security Council will meet on Friday at the request of eight states over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The request was made by France, Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, Britain and Uruguay, said diplomats, quoted by Reuters.

“The UN has given Jerusalem a special legal and political status, which the Security Council has called upon the international community to respect. That is why we believe the Council needs to address this issue with urgency,” Deputy Swedish UN Ambassador Carl Skau said on Wednesday.

A UN Security Council resolution adopted in December last year “underlines that it will not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

That resolution was approved with 14 votes in favour and an abstention by former US President Barack Obama’s administration, which defied heavy pressure from long-time ally Israel and Trump for Washington to wield its veto.

After Trump spoke on Wednesday, US Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters: “I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardise the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.”

“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: There is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B,” he said. “I will do everything in my power to support the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to return to meaningful negotiations.”

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley praised Trump’s decision as “the just and right thing to do.”

Trump abruptly reversed decades of US policy on Wednesday, generating outrage from Palestinians and defying warnings of Middle East unrest. Trump also plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The move has been widely condemned in the Arab world and internationally.

A Jordanian palace statement quoted King Abdullah as telling the US president that such a decision would have "dangerous repercussions on the stability and security in the region" and would obstruct US efforts to resume Arab-Israeli peace talks.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its capital, a position nearly the entire world rejects saying its status should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.

East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, is considered occupied Palestinian territory under international law. 

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