Palestinian envoy: UN Jerusalem vote ‘massive setback’ for US

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour speaks during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the worsening situation in Gaza at United Nations headquarters, Sunday, July 20, 2014. A Jordan-drafted resolution obtained by The Associated Press expresses "grave concern" at the high number of civilians killed in Gaza, including children, and it calls for an immediate cease-fire, "including the withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip." (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Palestinians’ UN envoy on Thursday described as a “massive setback” for the United States a UN vote in favour of a motion rejecting Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“One hundred twenty-eight versus nine — that’s a massive setback for the United States of America,” Ambassador Riyad Mansour told AFP, commenting on the result of the vote at the General Assembly.

The Palestinian president welcomed Thursday a United Nations General Assembly resolution criticising the US government´s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel´s capital.

“This decision reaffirms once again that the just Palestinian cause enjoys the support of international law, and no decision by any party can change the reality,” a statement from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas´s spokesman said, stressing it showed “that Jerusalem is occupied territory under international law.”

“We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and all international forums to end the occupation and create a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem,” the statement added.

The General Assembly adopted the motion rejecting US President Donald Trump´s December 6 decision by 128 votes to nine, with 35 abstentions.

Trump had warned ahead of the vote in the 193-nation assembly that “we’re watching” and threatened reprisals against countries backing the measure, which reaffirms that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations.

The measure was sent to the General Assembly after it was vetoed by the United States at the Security Council on Monday, although all other 14 council members voted in favour.