US faces an embarassing blow at the UN Security Council
ISLAMABAD - The European Union, Russia, China and other members of the UN Security Council on Wednesday strongly opposed the US announcement that it no longer considers Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to be a violation of international law.
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, opened the Security Council meeting, expressing “regret” at the US action and reiterating the UN position that settlements under a December 2016 council resolution “are a flagrant violation under international law.”
Indonesian Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, whose country has the world’s largest Muslim population, called the US announcement “irresponsible and provocative,” saying it “incontrovertibly constitutes a de facto annexation and is a barrier to peace efforts based on the two-state solution.”
Following the Security Council meeting, ambassadors from the 10 non-permanent council members who serve two-year terms stood before reporters while Deputy German Ambassador Jurgen Shultz read a critical joint statement.
“Israeli settlement activities are illegal, erode the viability of the two-state solution and undermine the prospect for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace” as affirmed by the 2016 council resolution, the statement said.
It also called on Israel to end all settlement activity and expressed concern at calls for possible annexation of areas in the West Bank, Press TV has reported.