Middle East

UN Security Council to vote on Monday on draft rejecting Trump Jerusalem move

Bosnian Muslims gather in Sarajevo on Sunday to protest against US president's decision to recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel and killing of Palestinians during clashes with Israeli forces (AFP)

The United Nations Security Council will vote on Monday on a draft resolution calling for the withdrawal of US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, diplomats said, a move likely to face a Washington veto.

The one-page Egyptian-drafted text, seen by Reuters, does not specifically mention the United States or Trump. Diplomats say it has broad support among the 15-member council, and while it is unlikely to be adopted, the vote will further isolate Trump on the issue.

Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees the whole of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future independent state.

Egypt is preparing a UN resolution against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, highlighting "Jerusalem will remain an Arab city." Egypt calls for holding an emergency session to get the U.S. administration to withdraw its decision https://t.co/BMh7WnBjAGpic.twitter.com/bpG8lSojQq

— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) December 17, 2017

Trump abruptly reversed decades of US policy this month when he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, generating outrage from Palestinians and many Muslims worldwide. Trump also plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Jerusalem on Wednesday, wading into the crisis over one of the most controversial issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has praised Trump's decision as "the just and right thing to do."

The US mission to the United Nations was not immediately available to comment on Sunday.

Arab foreign ministers

To pass, a resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Britain, Russia or China.

Arab foreign ministers agreed to seek a UN Security Council resolution on the issue. The draft UN text expresses "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem."

It "affirms 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 draft also calls upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there.

New post: BREAKING: UN to vote on resolution TOMORROW calling for Trump’s Jerusalem decision to be withdrawn https://t.co/ZcixrwH4x3

— CUFI UK (@CUFI_UK) December 17, 2017

"No vote or debate will change the clear reality that Jerusalem" is the capital of Israel, Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement on Saturday.

The draft council resolution "demands that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions."

A UN Security Council resolution adopted in December 2016 "underlines that it will not recognize 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 favor and an abstention by former US President Barack Obama's administration, which defied heavy pressure from longtime ally Israel and Trump, who was then president-elect, for Washington to wield its veto.

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