politics

Haley Warns UN That Trump Is Watching Jerusalem Votes

Updated on
  • U.S. envoy says Trump will take the vote at the UN personally
  • General Assembly to meet in rare emergency session Thursday
Amb. Ross Questions Timing of Trump's Jerusalem Decision

Nikki Haley has a warning for her fellow UN ambassadors ahead of a key vote on Jerusalem this week: Donald Trump is watching.

Still smarting from having to cast the first U.S. veto in the United Nations Security Council in six years on Monday, Haley is pressing other countries not to support a resolution in the larger General Assembly critical of President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv, according to four UN diplomats.

In a letter to some countries -- including key U.S. allies -- Haley warned that “the president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us. We will take note of each and every vote on this issue.” The letter was shared with Bloomberg News by one UN ambassador and confirmed by three others.

One diplomat said his country’s mission was told that its vote on the resolution, expected to pass the General Assembly by a wide margin, would be taken “personally” by Haley.

All of the diplomats asked not to be identified discussing communications with the U.S. The U.S. Mission to the UN didn’t immediately respond to questions about Haley’s outreach, but Trump weighed in on the Jerusalem vote during a public portion of a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Read a QuickTake Q&A on the controversy over Jerusalem’s status

“I liked the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations to all of those nations that take our money and then they vote against us in the Security Council, they vote against us potentially at the assembly,” Trump said. “They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us. Well we’re watching those votes. Let ’em vote against us."

On Monday, Haley cast a veto to block a Security Council resolution asking countries not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem. The vote reflected widespread criticism in the Middle East and among U.S. allies in Europe over Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement. While Trump cast his move as an effort to help promote Middle East peace, most countries said it would only make peace more elusive.

Palestinian officials said the move disqualified the U.S. from being a mediator in any Israel-Palestinian negotiations and moved after the veto to have the General Assembly take up the nonbinding resolution in an emergency session on Thursday. No nation has a veto in the General Assembly. Only 10 such emergency sessions have been convened since 1950. The last time the General Assembly met in such a session was in 2009 to discuss occupied East Jerusalem and Palestinian territories.

Haley’s letter was in the spirit of remarks she gave on her first day at the UN, when she told nations that she would be “taking names” of those who opposed U.S. interests. Now, she is preparing to do just that as the world body appears poised to condemn the Trump administration for the second time in a week.

The diplomats said Haley’s letter would have little impact on their vote, with one diplomat saying the measure would likely get support from more than 150 nations on Thursday.

— With assistance by Jennifer Epstein

(Adds Trump’s comments on Haley and the UN in sixth paragraph.)
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