UN Resolution on Jerusalem: Here’s how Nigeria and other countries voted

President Muhammadu Buhari in New York at the 73rd #UNGA
President Muhammadu Buhari in New York at the 73rd #UNGA
FILE: President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria at the United Nations General Assembly

Nigeria joined other world powers like United Kingdom, France and Germany at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday as a resolution condemning President Trump’s new policy recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was reached.

The General Assembly voted 128-9, with 35 abstentions, to declare Mr. Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital “null and void.”

Those voting in favour included the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia and the UK) as well as key US allies in the Muslim world.

Others were major US aid recipients including Nigeria, Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Africa supported the resolution.

Deal of the day

The absent countries included Kenya, which was the fifth-largest recipient of US aid last year, Georgia and Ukraine, all of which have close US ties.

What is so contentious about Jerusalem’s status?

The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians.

Israel occupied the east of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and regards the entire city as its indivisible capital.

The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state and its final status is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks.

Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and all countries currently maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.

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However, President Trump has told the US state department to start work on moving the US embassy.

What does the UN resolution say?

The 193-member UN General Assembly held the rare emergency special session at the request of Arab and Muslim states, who condemned Mr Trump’s decision to reverse decades of US policy earlier this month.

The Palestinians called for the meeting after the US vetoed a Security Council resolution that was similar to the text approved on Thursday.

The text put forward by Turkey and Yemen does not mention the US, but expresses “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem”.

It also says “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”.

What do Israel and the Palestinians say?

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised to reject the results of the vote, calling the UN a “house of lies”.

Afterwards he said in a statement: “Israel thanks President Trump for his unequivocal position in favour of Jerusalem and thanks those countries that voted alongside Israel, alongside the truth.”