UK backs UN rejection of Trump’s Jerusalem stance

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The United Nations has voted overwhelmingly to condemn Donald Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The UN General Assembly voted by 128 to 9 in favour of calling America’s declaration “null and void”, while 35 countries abstained.

President Trump had threatened to withhold billions of dollars in aid for countries that voted against America

Forecasters had predicted at least 150 nations would back the non-binding resolution, suggesting Mr Trump’s threat had some impact.

The countries which joined the US and Israel in voting against it were Togo, Palau, Micronesia, Honduras, Guatemala, Marshall Islands and Nauru.

The UK backed the resolution, while Canada abstained. Another 21 countries were absent for vote including Kenya, Georgia and Ukraine.

The resolution, which was largely symbolic, “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status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.”

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hailed the result as “a victory for Palestine”.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu branded the UN a “house of lies” and said the resolution was “preposterous”.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said America had been “singled out for attack in the General Assembly of exercising our right as a sovereign nation”.

“We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations, and so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit,” she said.

The vote followed a UN Security Council resolution which was vetoed by the US after the other 14 member countries – including Britain and France – backed it.

Mr Trump’s decision earlier this month to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognise it as the capital triggered protests across the Muslim world and drew strong international condemnation.

Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the move as “wrong”, despite the president’s promise it would help bring stability to the region.

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