United Nations – A day after United States President Donald Trump threatened that the US could withhold foreign aid for countries that vote in favor of a United Nations (UN) resolution calling on the U.S. to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Republic of Liberia on Thursday cast a vote in the affirmative, declaring the vote by Africa’s oldest republic is in no way a vote against the US but rather in line with the position of the African Union.
After a lengthy day of presentations and debates, a total of 129 countries voted for the resolution while nine voted against with 35 abstentions.
"We did not vote against the United States. We cannot vote against the United States. Liberia and the United States are deeply bonded by history and cherished ties of ongoing friendship and partnership. "
"We voted for the shared values of peace, international law, multilateralism, and consistent with the decisions of the African Union which was adopted by Heads of State in January of this year" - Ambassador Lewis Brown, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nation
Ambassador Lewis Brown, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the UN told FrontPageAfrica shortly after Thursday’s vote:
"We did not vote against the United States. We cannot vote against the United States. Liberia and the United States are deeply bonded by history and cherished ties of ongoing friendship and partnership.
We voted for the shared values of peace, international law, multilateralism, and consistent with the decisions of the African Union which was adopted by Heads of State in January of this year."
Speaking earlier, US Ambassador Nikki Haley reiterated the US position, threatening and telling countries that voting for the resolution is a disrespect to the US.
Pres. Trump Said Wednesday: "I like the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations for all of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us potentially at the assembly," he said.
On Thursday, Liberia joined the rest of the sponsors of the resolution in demanding that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.
During the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in January, the AU issued a declaration on the ongoing situation in Palestine and the Middle East.
Paragraph 3 of the AU Resolution on Palestine urged members of the international community to refrain from transferring embassies and diplomatic missions accredited to Israel from Tel Aviv to the city of Jerusalem, in order to achieve the foundation of peace based on a two-state solution.
The AU reaffirmed its full support to the Palestinian people and the State of Palestine under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas in their quest for the restoration of their legitimate right to establish an independent state co-existing peacefully with the State of Israel and commending the recent reconciliation deal reached on 15 January 2017 in the Russian capital Moscow, between Palestinians Organizations to form a unity government.
The AU also reiterated its wish for the peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict in accordance with the principles of international law and all relevant United Nations resolutions to ensure the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the borders of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The AU also condemned the illegal settlements in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and in the occupied territory of the Syrian Golan Heights and the continued occupation of Palestinian lands and the Judaization campaign aimed at changing all Islamic and Christian features of the Holy City and reducing the Palestinian population to the fullest extent through the confiscation of their lands and the destruction of their homes and all measures of collective punishment.
FrontPageAfrica has learned that nearly all the African countries received the US threat letter from Ambassador Haley prior to Thursday’s vote and transmitted to their various Capitals.
Prior to Thursday’s vote, Liberia had consistently supported and voted affirmatively concerning General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947), Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) and the 1993 Oslo Agreement.
These important instruments have formed the basis for the search for peace in that troubled region, and by extension the world, as well as international law.
Diplomatic observers say, the Status of Jerusalem Resolution is historic, the outcome of which would potentially change more than fifty years of consideration of this important question, and the view of and prospect for peace in the region.
FrontPageAfrica has learned that at least 33 countries were included as additional co-sponsors to Turkey and Yemen, 9 of which are African, including Senegal.
All, however, are members of the OIC. Liberia’s relationship with the U.S. is well established.
Regarded as Liberia’s stepfather, the US is seen as Liberia's Penholder at the UNSC, and have been very supportive of our ongoing political transition.
In recent years, Liberia has been courting improved relations with the State of Israel, and that we cherish our important vote of 1948.
In 2012, Liberia abstained from the vote when the United Nations General Assembly voted to admit Palestine as a "non-member observer state".
Palestine won a vote of 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions at the time.
The U.S., Israel, Czech Republic, Canada, and Palau were amongst the countries that voted against.
The United Kingdom and Germany also abstained.
Prior to Thursday’s vote, FrontPageAfrica has learned that Liberia was encouraged to be in attendance for the vote which diplomatic sources say was a very difficult vote for Liberia, but what one diplomat described as, “the right vote”.