U.N. Security Council to meet Friday to discuss Jerusalem

The United Nations Security Council is holding an emergency session to discuss Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital based on a request made by 8 of the 15 member states of the Security Council.

The eight states included two permanent member-states; France and Britain and six non-permanent member-states; Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Senegal, Sweden and Uruguay.

The U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to address the Security Council on Friday, December 8, 2017.

Directly after Trump spoke on Wednesday, Guterres spoke out against any unilateral measures that he believes would jeopardize the hope for peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

“Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides,” said Guterres.

Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, completely reversing decades of the U.S. policy, as well as his decision to remove the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv and reconstruct it in Jerusalem once a location is secured, outraged many countries, including which, are American allies.

Even the European Union, according to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is concerned about the announcement and the negative influences it may have on the prospect of peace.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Swedish U.N. Ambassador Carl Skau said in different statements that they disagree with the U.S. announcement, as well.

“We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region. The British Embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it,” said May.

She also stressed that the status of Jerusalem should be “determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis the Palestinians.”

“We are strongly committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel,” Freeland said.

She further stated that the Canadian embassy will remain in Tel Aviv and its policy on Jerusalem will not change. The city’s status can only be determined as part of peace talks.

“The U.N. has given Jerusalem a special legal and political status, which the Security Council has called upon the international community to respect. That is why we believe the Council needs to address this issue with urgency,” said Carl Skau

A U.N. Security Council resolution adopted in December last year “underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

That resolution was approved with 14 votes in favour and an abstention by former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, which defied heavy pressure from long-time ally Israel and Trump for Washington to wield its veto.