Thursday Dec 21, 2017
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) Maleeha Lodhi said on Thursday that the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a violation of the international laws.
The UN General Assembly Thursday adopted by a decisive vote of 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions, a motion rejecting the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
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.
His warning did appear to have some impact with nine countries voting against the resolution and 35 abstaining. The motion was put forward by Yemen and Turkey on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries.
In her address with the UNGA, Ambassador Lodhi said they were in favour of Palestine and justified demands of the Palestinian people, and that today's session would convey a clear message to the world against this 'illegal decision.'
"Pakistan has been supporting the rights of the Palestinian people and backing their struggle is an important part of its foreign policy," she said, pledging Islamabad's continued support to the people of Palestine.
The top diplomat said that Pakistan fully backs UN resolution pertaining to Jerusalem. "No plan changing the status of Jerusalem is acceptable to us."
"The people of Palestine will not accept any decision except for the two-state solution," she maintained, adding that the UN was the last hope for the Palestinian people.
Diplomats had expected strong support for the resolution, which is non-binding, despite the US pressure to either abstain, vote against it or simply not turn up for the vote.
On Tuesday, US Ambassador Nikki Haley sent an email to fellow UN envoys to put them on notice that "the president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us."
"We will take note of each and every vote on this issue," she wrote in the message seen by AFP.