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UN General Assembly To Discuss Trump's Jerusalem Move

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The United Nations General Assembly will hold an emergency session Dec. 21 to discuss President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The meeting comes after the United States vetoed a resolution Dec. 18 in the UN Security Council which called on Trump to reverse his decision and expressed "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem," according to Reuters.

Trump announced a plan Dec. 6 to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. While Israel argues that the city is its capital, the Palestinians insist that the eastern portion of Jerusalem, captured by Israel during the 1967 war, should be the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

The UN General Assembly has only met 10 times in emergency session since it was founded in 1950. The UN Charter allows for the General Assembly to meet if the Security Council fails to take action on an important issue.

The vote in the General Assembly is non-binding, but is seen as highly symbolic.

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In the Dec. 18 Security Council vote, U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was the only representative to vote against the resolution drafted by Egypt. She denounced the resolution as an "insult" to American sovereignty.

Washington's stance on Jerusalem is not shared by some of its closest allies, including Britain. British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke with Trump Dec. 19 by phone about the issue.

"They discussed the different positions we took on the recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and agreed on the importance of the US bringing forward new proposals for peace and the international community supporting these efforts," a spokesman for May stated, according to The Washington Post.

The White House sought to downplay the disagreement.

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"The President and Prime Minister discussed next steps in forging peace in the Middle East," a White House release on the discussion noted.

The Trump administration has vowed to reach a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, but this appears to have been made more difficult because of Trump's Jerusalem announcement.

Haley indicated Dec. 19 that Washington would not accept the General Assembly's criticism.

"At the UN we're always asked to do more and give more," Haley wrote on Twitter, according to The Hill. "When we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us. On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names."

Sources: Reuters, The Washington Post, The Hill / Featured Image: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/Flickr / Embedded Images: Wayne McLean/Wikimedia Commons, The White House via Wikimedia Commons

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