US hosts party for countries that backed Jerusalem move

US hosts party for countries that backed Jerusalem move
US ambassador to the UN held an exclusive reception for the countries that voted against or abstained from a resolution that condemned Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
2 min read
04 January, 2018
Haley said the vote would affect "how we look at countries who disrespect us" [Getty]
US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley hosted a party on Wednesday for countries that backed President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Haley invited representatives from the nations that voted against or abstained from an anti-Israel resolution at the UN General Assembly which condemned Trump's December 6 announcement that included a plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city.

The "Friends of the US" reception was praised by Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.

He said on his way to the gathering, reported by CNN: "First, it was a courageous decision by President Trump and Ambassador Haley, and we thank the United States for this courageous decision, and tonight the US is continuing to show leadership in the Middle East, real leadership in the UN.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy in the UN. I think tonight the countries who stood with the US will come and hear that the US is thanking them for standing for the truth and not joining the show of the Palestinians inside the UN."

The vote in December saw 128 countries vote for the resolution, nine voted "no" and 35 nations abstained, including Canada, Mexico and Australia - yet not all the invited countries attended Haley's reception.

Ahead of the vote, Trump threatened to cut funding to countries who defied his Jerusalem stance. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the world not to be swayed by Trump's threat to cut off financial funding if they defy his Jerusalem stance.

Read also: Aid recipient nations reject Trump's Jerusalem blackmail gambit

Haley said the outcome "will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN, and this vote will be remembered".

Most, if not all, nations are generally invited to UN receptions, but smaller gatherings can be held.

However receptions held by a powerful UN member, such as the US, that publicly highlight the absence of other member countries are rare.

Photos posted by Haley and the US mission to the UN in New York on Twitter show drinks flowing and live music.

"It's easy for friends to be with you in the good times, but it’s the friends who are with you during the challenging times that will never be forgotten," Haley said.