Turkey hails UN vote against Trump's Jerusalem move
Turkish officials have welcomed the United Nations General Assembly’s rejection of the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “I congratulate all the states that voted in favor [of the U.N. resolution]. I am expressing my gratitude to these countries on behalf of myself and my people,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Dec. 22.
The U.N. on Dec. 21 overwhelmingly adopted a resolution on Jerusalem calling on the U.S. to withdraw its recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, despite threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to cut off aid to countries who would vote against the U.S.
A total of 128 members voted in favor of the resolution, nine countries voted against it and 35 others abstained.
“The U.N. has defied the unlawful step the U.S. took regarding Jerusalem, showing the international community it does not deem it [U.S. decision] legitimate,” Erdoğan said.
“We are reminding them one more time: The world is bigger than five. It is 196 times bigger,” Erdoğan added, in reference to the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members and the General Assembly’s 196 member countries.
Erdoğan stated that he anticipated 160 votes in favor of the U.N. resolution.
“No country has the right to threaten the rest of the world irresponsibly by relying on its economic and political power in such an unlawful and unjust way. Such blackmails harm international organizations like the U.N., which is the backbone of the international system, and its ability to reflect the will of the countries,” he said.
He called Trump’s move “an unforgivable act.”
“It has shattered the conscience of humanity. It will be remembered in the history of democracy as an ugly and unforgivable act,” Erdoğan said, adding that he hopes “the U.S. will think this through and make an assessment to turn back from its wrong step.”
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also welcomed the General Assembly’s decision.
“This decision is crucial to peace in the Middle East. It is also a decision that prevented Trump’s primed bomb from exploding in the heart of the Middle East,” he said.
The decision shows that the whole world is in favor of the establishment of the Palestinian State, the CHP leader said. “It is a decision that shows Jerusalem is not somewhere any person can decide whose capital it is. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the making of this decision and the people who ensured the decision would be rejected.”
Washington ‘will remember this day’
Speaking at the emergency session, U.S.’s U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that Washington “will remember this day.”
“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem,” Haley said in defense of the U.S. move, which broke with international consensus and unleashed protests across the Muslim world.
“No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that,” Haley said. “But this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the U.N. and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the U.N.”