(JTA) — To thank the 65 countries that did not support a resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s position on Jerusalem, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley invited her counterparts from those states to a festive reception.
Haley extended the invitation Thursday, Dec. 21, hours after a resolution condemning Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital passed thanks to a majority of 128 in favor at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the nrg news site reported.
Nine countries voted against the resolution, including Israel, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras and Togo. But 35 countries — including the six EU member states Poland, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Latvia – abstained. The rest of the European Union voted in favor of the resolution. The representatives of a further 21 countries were absent at the vote, which was the 10th time in the history of the United Nations that the General Assembly was convened for an emergency voting. The absent countries included Kenya, which was the fifth-largest recipient of US aid last year, Georgia and Ukraine, all of which have close ties with the United States. Absenteeism is unusual in emergency session votes. The resolution was sponsored by Yemen and Turkey,
Prior to the vote, Trump wrote on Twitter: “We’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.” His words were widely interpreted as a threat to cut aid to countries that vote against the United States position on Jerusalem.
Later that day, an invitation was sent around to the countries that did not support the resolution on Jerusalem, to attend a reception with Haley in January. The event was labeled as a means to thank the countries for “their friendship to the United States,” according to a copy of the invite obtained by CNN.
In her speech at the emergency vote, Haley noted that the “United States is by far the single largest contributor to the United Nations and its agencies.” Aid is given, she added, “in order to advance our values and our interests. When that happens, our participation in the United Nations produces great good for the world.” But, Haley said, “When we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have a legitimate expectation that our good will is recognized and respected. When a nation is singled out for attack in this organization, that nation is disrespected. What’s more, that nation is asked to pay for the ‘privilege’ of being disrespected.”
CAP: U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley preparing to speak on the floor of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Dec. 21, 2017. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)