China urges the world to remain united on Jerusalem



An overwhelming majority of nations voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution calling on the US to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The resolution passed, despite threats by the US to punish nations that vote "yes."

Here are the reactions from nations at odds:

In all, 128 nations voted "yes," condemning the US decision to recognize the holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Nine countries voted "no" and 35 abstained.

China responded to the divisive ruling by calling for peace from nations on both sides of the issue.

"Under the current circumstances, we call on the international community to remain united in a joint effort to pursue peace, facilitate the de-escalation of the Jerusalem-related situation for the greater good of the stability and tranquility and peace process in the Middle East," said Chinese representative Shen Bo.

General view of the emergency special session over Jerusalem held by the UN General Assembly in New York, US on December 21, 2017.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley voiced her nation's frustration with the ruling, saying, "The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation."

The holy city of Jerusalem is one of the most contentious issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said, “We refuse to have sovereignty used as an excuse to violate international law and to trespass on the rights of our Palestinian people, which are inalienable and that we refuse to have it used to deny our right to exist on our land.”

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley makes a speech about a recent US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, at a special session of the UN General Assembly on December 21, 2017.

Danny Danon, Israel Ambassador to the UN, noted, "The United States simply stated a fact. They officially declared what has always been true, Jerusalem has been and always will be the capital of the state of Israel.

Those who support today's resolution are like puppets. You are puppets pulled by the strings of your Palestinian puppet masters.”

The resolution was adopted, in spite of US threats to cancel aid to nations that oppose the US decision.

"Before this meeting, a UN member state threatened all the other members. We were all asked to vote 'no' or face the consequences," said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. "Some are even threatened with development aid cut. Such an attitude is unacceptable. This is bullying and this chamber will not vote to do that.”

Most countries back the two-state solution, and believe the Jerusalem issue should be negotiated between parties.

The UN General Assembly resolution is not legally binding, but the vote sends a strong message, that the US stands apart from a majority of nations.