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"Crushing defeat" Switzerland joins UN vote against Trump Jerusalem move

The divided old town of Jerusalem has some of the holiest sites for both Israelis and Palestinians. 

(Keystone)

Switzerland was among an overwhelming majority of countries which on Thursday voted a UN General Assembly resolution condemning US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This was despite Trump’s threats of possible financial consequences for countries backing the resolution. 

A total of 128 states voted in favour of the anti-Trump resolution, including Britain, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Some 35 states abstained and nine countries voted against: the United States, Israel, Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, The Marshall Islands, Guatemala and Honduras. 

Switzerland’s vote is in line with its Middle East policy as expressed in a December 7 statement from the Foreign Ministryexternal link. “Switzerland considers that the recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel constitutes an obstacle to a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on a negotiated two-state solution,” says the statement. “Switzerland does not recognize Israeli authority beyond the 1967 borders and is committed to the establishment of a viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the 1967 borders.”

+Read more about the Trump decision and Swiss reaction

Whilst many Swiss news media on Friday dedicated their editorials to an ongoing row with the European Union over stock exchange recognition, some also commented on the UN General Assembly vote.  Regional newspaper Südostschweiz calls it a “crushing defeat” for Trump, but doubts he will take any notice. “One thing is clear: his government will push ahead with its Jerusalem policy,” writes the paper. It also thinks this will only confirm the US President’s “hostile attitude towards the UN”. 

“Since the founding of the UN, its most powerful member has in many cases tried to prevent other states from supporting undesirable resolutions or persuade them to vote in favour of resolutions tabled by Washington,” writes the news website Infosperber. “But a public threat from the US to almost all other UN member states is a new negative quality. It represents a further escalation of the UN-hostile measures of the Trump administration's first eleven months of office.”

swissinfo,ch and agencies/jmc

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