The United Nations (UN) General Assembly will meet for a rare emergency session to discuss the status of Jerusalem on Thursday after the United States vetoed earlier an Egypt-drafted request asking Washington to withdraw its decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.
According to UN sources, Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said his country hoped that the General Assembly would draft a resolution urging the U.S. move, declared on Dec. 6 by President Donald Trump and triggering large-scale outrage in the Arab and Muslim world, to be withdrawn.
Washington vetoed on Monday a draft resolution submitted by Egypt to the Security Council expressing “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem,” without explicitly calling out the United States by name.
The resolution sought to ensure that any attempts to alter the characteristics or demographic composition of the Old City of Jerusalem had no effect and were rescinded.
It also demanded that the final status of Jerusalem be decided through direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine, as was included in the previous 10 resolutions on the issue dating back to 1967.
Despite the yes votes cast by all the remaining 14 members, the no vote by the United States, a permanent member and veto-wielding power of the Security Council, was enough to block the passage of the draft.
Mansour was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying on Monday that he hoped there would be “overwhelming support” in the 193-member General Assembly for a resolution seeking similar demands.