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Malaysia Not Cowed By US Threat Over UN Jerusalem Vote

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PUTRAJAYA – Malaysia stated today that it will not be cowed by a United States threat to cut financial aid to the countries which backed a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling on the United States to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia was not a recipient of huge economic aid from the United States but just technical assistance in terms of security and defence.

“In my opinion, the United States should not use such threats because it is the opinion of the international community,” he said to reporters at the ‘Save Jerusalem’ Solidarity Rally held at the Putra Mosque here.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, was responding to a question on US President Donald Trump’s threat to cut financial aid to the countries which voted for the UN resolution on the Jerusalem issue.

In the aftermath of the US threat, 128 nations voted for the resolution, 35 abstained and nine voted against at the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly held at the request of Arab and Muslim states on Thursday.

Twenty-one countries were absent at the meeting.

Before the vote, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley repeated Trump’s threat to cut financial aid to any country that supported the UN resolution.

Haley also said that any UN decision would not change the US plan to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ahmad Zahid said all member countries of the UN should abide by the UN resolution.

“Obviously, any violation of the resolution is a violation of the world body and disregard for the views of the international community,” he said.

Asked about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “promise” to reject the results of the vote, Ahmad Zahid said Israel was also a member state of the UN and had to abide by the resolution.

“(Israel’s) adamant stance has been there since the formation of that nation and it has often violated and rejected (UN) resolutions,” he said.

On a suggestion by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for Malaysia to emulate Turkey and open an embassy in East Jerusalem to recognise the city as the Palestinian capital, Ahmad Zahid said the proposal would be raised at the Cabinet meeting in the first week of January 2018. – BERNAMA

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