US faces criticism after vetoing UN resolution against Trump's Jerusalem proclamation

Outnumbered 14-1, the US continued to insist it has not thwarted peace efforts between Israel and Palestine

Published December 19, 2017 8:54AM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Monday, backed by every council member, that would have forced Washington to rescind its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The move was, for the international community, a strong rebuke of the Trump administration's recent unilateral decision and has reflected the wave of criticism the U.S. has received. While neither the U.S. nor President Donald Trump were directly named in the resolution, which was drafted by Egypt, it expressed "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem," according to The Guardian.

The veto was condemned as a "provocation" that is "unacceptable and threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it," a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said. Abbas has already expressed that the U.S. could no longer play a legitimate role in future peace efforts.

But even as the 14 other council members, many who are traditionally strong U.S. allies, told the U.S. it had jeopardized the opportunity for a peace process and threatened stability in the region, Nikki Haley, the nation's ambassador to the U.N. attempted to spin the situation on the Security Council and deemed it "an insult."

"It’s scandalous to say we are putting back peace efforts," she said. "The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council."

Haley added, "The United States has never been more committed to peace in the Middle East."

The Trump administration has been widely criticized since its unilateral announcement, including by several previous U.S. ambassadors to Israel, but has continued to insist it hasn't thwarted peace efforts.

A statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that because the 14 other nations had approved the resolution, it exemplified "the most concrete indication of the illegitimacy," the Associated Press reported.

The U.S. veto and staunch opposition to much of the rest of the world's opinions once again sparked reactions.

By Charlie May

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