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U.S. Faces Blunt Criticism at U.N. Over Jerusalem Decree

December 8, 2017
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Nikolay E. Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, addressed an emergency session of the Security Council on Friday over President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.Credit Richard Drew/Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — The United States faced blunt and sometimes withering criticism from friends and adversaries alike at the United Nations on Friday over President Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and his plans to move the American Embassy to the highly contested holy city.

The rebukes, made at an emergency Security Council meeting called over Mr. Trump’s announcement, constituted an extraordinarily public denunciation of American policy on the world’s most prominent diplomatic stage, leaving the United States alone on the issue among the council’s 15 members.

One by one, the ambassadors of Sweden, Egypt, Britain, France and Bolivia, among others, reiterated their view that President Trump’s announcement had subverted the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a longtime bedrock of the United Nations position on resolving it. Some, like Bolivia’s ambassador, Sacha Sergio Llorenty Solíz, demanded that the body take action, “otherwise the Security Council will become an occupied territory,” he said.

It is unclear what the council members could do, however, except to voice their anger and frustration. The United States is one of the five permanent members and could veto any resolution seeking to condemn President Trump’s decision.

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After the meeting adjourned, however, the ambassadors of Britain, France, Sweden, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement outside the council’s chambers condemning their American ally’s change of position, saying it was “not in line with Security Council resolutions and was unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”

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