UN resolution on Jerusalem: Arab world seeks India's support

UN resolution on Jerusalem: Arab world seeks India's support

New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) Arab nations here have sought India's support ahead of a rare emergency UN General Assembly session on Thursday that will vote over Jerusalem being recognised by the US as the capital of Israel.

Diplomatic sources here told IANS that representatives of the Arab diplomatic community have met senior officials of the External Affairs Ministry seeking New Delhi's support in Thursday's crucial vote.

The latest development followed 18 Arab Ambassadors' meeting with Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar last week to seek India's support in this regard.

The emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly on Thursday will take up Trump's decision on Jerusalem after the US vetoed a Security Council resolution criticising it.

General Assembly President Miroslav lajcak is convening the special session at the request of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab Group at the UN, his spokesperson Brenden Varma told reporters at the UN headquarters on Tuesday.

On Monday, US Permanent Representative Nikki Haley vetoed the Security Council resolution introduced by Egypt seeking to express "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem" and asking other countries to not follow Washington and move their embassies to the city considered holy by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

All the other 14 members of the Council voted for the resolution.

Unlike in the Council, there is no veto in the Assembly and a resolution criticising the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there is expected to pass easily because even Washington's allies broke ranks with it and supported the Egyptian resolution.

Technically, Thursday's meeting is a continuation of the emergency special session that last met in 2009, Varma said. Its theme is "Illegal Israeli Actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory", and it first convened in 1997, he added.

Unlike the regular annual sessions of the Assembly which end after a year, an emergency special session can continue indefinitely and be reconvened periodically even after a gap of several years.

Following US President Donald Trump's statement recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement: "India's position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country."

Trump's announcement came ahead of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu's expected visit to India early next year.

(Aroonim Bhuyan can be contacted at aroonim.b@ians.in)

--IANS

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