New Zealand de­fends vote

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

New Zealand said yes­ter­day the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil resolution con­demn­ing Is­raeli set­tle­ments should have come as no sur­prise to the Jewish State, af­ter Is­rael re­tal­i­ated by re­call­ing its am­bas­sador to Welling­ton. New Zealand co-spon­sored the resolution which de­scribed the set­tle­ments in the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries as a ma­jor stum­bling block to Middle East peace ef­forts, as they are built on land the Pales­tini­ans con­sider part of their fu­ture state.

There was ap­plause in the UN cham­ber when the first resolution by the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil (UNSC) in more than 38 years to con­demn Is­rael over its set­tle­ment pol­icy was passed 14-0, with the coun­try’s key ally the United States ab­stain­ing. Is­rael re­fused to rec­og­nize the resolution with Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu’s spokesman Ofir Gen­del­man tweet­ing that their ambassadors to New Zealand and Sene­gal, who co-spon­sored the resolution, were to re­turn to Is­rael im­me­di­ately.

“These steps are taken against coun­tries that have tabled the draft resolution to the UNSC and have diplo­matic re­la­tions with Is­rael,” he said. New Zealand For­eign Min­is­ter Mur­ray McCully said the de­ci­sion should have been no sur­prise to Is­rael which knew Welling­ton’s po­si­tion long be­fore the UN vote. “Is­rael has in­formed us of their de­ci­sion to re­call their am­bas­sador to New Zealand for con­sul­ta­tions,” McCully told AFP in a state­ment. — AFP

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