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Palestinian minister slams US ‘threats’ ahead of UN vote over Jerusalem

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki attends a meeting with Arab foreign ministers at Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Sept. 12, 2011. (REUTERS)
ISTANBUL: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki on Wednesday accused Washington of “threatening” member countries of the UN General Assembly ahead of a vote on rejecting the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Malki said American officials were “committing another mistake when they have distributed this famous letter trying to threaten countries, (and) threaten their sovereign decision to choose how to vote.”
He spoke at a press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul, shortly before both men left for New York.
On Tuesday, Nikki Haley, Washington’s UN envoy, warned countries that she would report back to President Donald Trump with the names of those who supported a draft resolution rejecting the US recognition.
The UN General Assembly will hold an emergency session on Thursday to vote on the proposed measure, after the US vetoed a similar resolution for the Security Council.
“This is really a new definition of world order in politics and it seems that the American administration... are putting their stamp on a new political reality that many countries will reject,” Malki said.
Turkey and Yemen requested the urgent meeting on behalf of the Arab group of countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The two countries circulated a draft resolution on Tuesday that mirrors the vetoed measure, reaffirming that any decision on the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be rescinded.
Malki said the UN session would show “how many countries will opt to vote with their conscience.”
“They will vote for justice and they will vote in favor of that resolution that was presented by both Yemen and Turkey on behalf of the Arab group and OIC,” he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to lead Islamic condemnation of Trump’s Jerusalem plan, calling a summit of the leaders of Muslim nations last week in Istanbul, who urged the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel after it seized control of the area in the 1967 war, in a move never recognized by the international community.
Cavusoglu said his country expected “strong support” for the Palestinian Authority in the UN General Assembly.
“Everyone with a conscience ... is against this decision that usurped Palestine’s rights,” he said.
The foreign minister said any honorable country would not bow to US pressure, urging Washington to reverse its mistake.
“God willing, I believe we will obtain a good result tomorrow (Thursday),” he added.

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