U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley (R, front) vetoes a UN Security Council draft resolution on the status of Jerusalem at the UN headquarters in New York, on Dec. 18, 2017. The United States on Monday vetoed a Security Council draft resolution on the status of Jerusalem. All other 14 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the Egyptian-drafted text. But as the United States, which is a permanent member of the Security Council, has veto power, the draft resolution failed to be adopted. (Xinhua/UN Photo)
The other 14 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the Egypt-drafted text but as the United States, a permanent member of the UNSC, has veto power, the draft resolution failed to be adopted.
Before the vote, the Egyptian Ambassador to the United Nations, Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, had explained that the draft resolution sought to ensure that any attempts to alter the characteristics or demographic composition of the Old City of Jerusalem would have no effect, were null and void, and must be rescinded.
It also called on all parties not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, defended the veto, saying it was the first U.S. veto in the Security Council in more than six years.
"We do it with no joy, but we do it with no reluctance," she told the Security Council.
Despite the fact that the vote was 14-1, Haley said the veto was not a source of embarrassment for the United States. "It should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council," she said, arguing that her country had the sovereign right to determine where or whether to establish its embassy in another country.
The other members of the Security Council hold that Israel has no sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, an issue that should be solved by the Israelis and Palestinians through negotiations.
Matthew Rycroft, the British ambassador to the United Nations, said his country disagrees with the U.S. decisions to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
"These decisions are unhelpful to the prospects of peace in the region, an aim that all of us in this council remain committed (to)," he told the Security Council after the vote.
"The British embassy in Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it," he added.
Rycroft said the British position on Jerusalem was clear and long-standing: "The status of Jerusalem should be determined through a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states."
Britain regards East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967, as part of the occupied Palestinian territories.
Wu Haitao, charge d'affaires of China's permanent mission to the United Nations, said the issue of Palestine, which is at the core of Middle East peace, is complicated and sensitive.
The draft resolution was in line with previous Security Council resolutions and was a continuation of the contents and spirit of past resolutions, Wu said, explaining China's "yes" vote on it.
China has consistently supported and pushed forward the Middle East peace process, he said.
"We support the just cause of restoring the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, support the establishment of a fully sovereign, independent State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Such a position of China will not change."