UAE Press: US veto another blow to peace process

ABU DHABI, 20th December, 2017 (WAM) — The vetoing of a draft United Nations resolution rejecting President Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to recognise occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is yet another historic blunder by Washington, said a UAE paper in an editorial comment.

“The United States stands completely isolated on the subject,” said the English-language daily, The Gulf Today, on Wednesday.

The paper continued, “The support for the resolution even from US allies like France, Italy and Japan lucidly indicate American isolation. Trump’s decision has deviated from decades of US policy and international consensus that occupied Jerusalem’s status must be sorted out through dialogue.

“The text, tabled by Egypt, merely reiterated the UN’s position on occupied Jerusalem and would have affirmed that 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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”

The paper noted that the text would also have called on all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in occupied Jerusalem.

“A negative vote – or veto – from one of the Council’s five permanent members – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States – blocks passage of a resolution. The draft was rejected despite support from the other four permanent members and from the 10 non-permanent members,” it said.

On the same note, Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, has rightly stated that the security situation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory has become more tense in the wake of Trump’s decision. The region has been witnessing increasing clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre even went to the extent of praising the Egyptian draft as a “good text” and correctly argued that without an agreement on occupied Jerusalem, there would be no peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians, the editorial explained.

“On the ground, Israel’s illegal settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory have been continuing, with significantly more units advanced and approved this year. For instance, as per UN officials, in East Jerusalem, the increase has been from 1,600 units in 2016 to some 3,100 in 2017.

“Thanks to American belligerence, the Palestinian leadership has been forced to cancel meetings with Vice-President Mike Pence and look for the establishment of a new mechanism to achieve peace.Trump’s moves have only increased the uncertainties about the future of the Middle East peace process,” the paper added.

In conclusion, the Sharjah-based daily said, “The status of occupied Jerusalem must be decided only through negotiations and certainly not by the unilateral decisions of a third country.”

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