Latest: Ireland votes for UN resolution against Trump's Jerusalem decision

Update 9pm: Ireland has voted in favour of adopting a motion rejecting the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

It was one of the countries to vote in favour of the non-binding resolution, with 35 others abstaining and 21 countries not casting a vote.

In a statement this evening, the Department of Foreign Affairs said: "Ireland voted today in favour of a resolution in the UN General Assembly on Jerusalem. This vote was in line with our established position on this issue. The vast majority of our EU partners voted in the same way.

"It has been the united position of the international community for decades, as set out in UN Security Council Resolutions, that a resolution of the Middle East conflict will include agreement for Jerusalem to be the capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine.

"Ireland and the US share many core values, but there are occasionally issues on which we have different views. The status of Jerusalem is one such issue.

"We have no difficulty with our partners and friends having strong views and expressing them robustly, notwithstanding the fact that we may take a different view, as we do in this case."

Update 6.30: Israel's prime minister said he completely rejected the "preposterous" UN resolution.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem "always was, always will be" Israel's capital.

He said he appreciates that "a growing number of countries refuse to participate in this theatre of the absurd" and thanked Mr Trump for his "stalwart defence of Israel".

Mr Trump's declaration on December 6 departed from decades of US policy, and international consensus, that the fate of Jerusalem should be decided through negotiations.

Jerusalem lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel sees the city as its undivided capital. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, home to key Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites, as their capital.

Latest 5.22pm: The UN General Assembly has voted 128-9 to declare US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "null and void".

The vote, while a victory for the Palestinians, was significantly lower than its supporters had hoped for, with many forecasting at least 150 "yes" votes. It is noteworthy that 21 countries were absent.

In that sense, it was a victory for the United States, with Mr Trump's threat to cut off US funding to countries that oppose his decision having an impact.

More to follow.

Earlier: No comment from Ireland as US reveal they are taking names on UN Jerusalem vote 

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has said the Irish Government must immediately make clear that they will vote at the UN to condemn the provocative decision of the US President, Donald Trump, to relocate the US Embassy to Israel, to Jerusalem.

Deputy Howlin said the decision of Donald Trump to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem was a provocative act that damaged rather than strengthened the long term peace of the State of Israel and all the people of the region - Arab and Jewish.

Mr Howlin was speaking as it emerged the Department of Foreign Affairs had declined to say how Ireland will vote on the controversial UN general assembly vote later today.

The Irish Times report a Foreign Affairs spokesperson as saying that “discussions are ongoing in New York ... We won’t be making a statement until after the vote."

It has also emerged that the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Halley has written to fellow UN ambassadors warning them that the US would be taking this vote personally.

She is reported as saying: “The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us.”

Later Ms Haley tweeted that the US would be “taking names” of those who vote against it.

In a statement this evening Brendan Howlin those of who support the right of the Jewish people to their homeland, and the equal right of the Palestinian people to their own state, view this act by Trump as a further step on the road away from a two state solution.

"Minister Coveney must ensure that this view, which I believe is widely held across a wide spectrum of opinion in Ireland, is made clear at the United Nations.

"As I said at the time of this decision, sometimes the greatest act of a friend is to speak unpalatable truths.

"Ireland has long been a close friend of the United States and as such should make clear our opposition to the provocation of the current US administration without equivocation.

"Minister Coveney should also make it clear that Ireland continues to support a two state solution and that the resolution of the future status of Jerusalem can only come about as part of those overall negotiations.

"Reports of US diplomats linking votes at the UN on this matter to future aid is deeply disturbing.

"Surely Ireland is above such threats and will stand up clearly for what is right."

- Digital desk


KEYWORDS: UN, Jerusalem

 

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