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)
BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Monday vetoed a Security Council draft resolution on Jerusalem, approved by all other 14 members of the Security Council, blocking its adoption.
The Egypt-drafted text sought to ensure that any attempts to alter the characteristics or demographic composition of the Old City of Jerusalem had no effect and were rescinded.
It also called on all parties not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.
Both before and after the voting, many countries, including key U.S. allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Qatar, expressed their disagreement with the United States, insisting that Jerusalem should be a shared capital of Israelis and Palestinians.
The Palestinian Authority on Monday slammed the United States for its veto, calling it "against the international consensus".
In his opening remarks to the Palestinian leadership meeting Monday evening, President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestinians will return to the UN to seek full membership for Palestine, while announcing a series of countermeasures against the U.S. move.
"We will not accept the U.S. as a mediator in the peace process and this American position must be met with several measures," he said, highlighting that a special committee will be formed to look into relevant UN resolutions and propose new ones.
Abbas also signed 22 agreements and international treaties to strengthen the legal status of the state of Palestine on a global scale.
His spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in an official statement that the U.S. veto "violates the legitimate international resolutions and the resolutions of the Security Council. It's a full bias to the occupation and to the aggression."
The veto "leads to more isolation of the United States and will provoke the international community," it said, adding, "We will carry on with our moves in the UN and all other international agencies to defend our people's rights."
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riad Malki said the Palestinian Authority will resort to the UN General Assembly with a new draft resolution against the U.S. move.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry Monday expressed regret at the result. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said the resolution reflected the international community's rejection of Trump's decision aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem.
Trump, breaking away from the decades-old U.S. policy of neutrality on the issue, announced on Dec. 6 that the U.S. embassy would be relocated from Tel Aviv to the disputed holy city, which was regarded as a tacit U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The announcement shocked the international community and triggered protests.
Before the vote, Matthew Rycroft, the British ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters the United Kingdom would vote in favor because it was in line with Britain's long-standing position on Jerusalem and previous Security Council resolutions.
Rycroft said his country believes Jerusalem is a final-status issue and should be a shared capital of Israelis and Palestinians. The British embassy in Israel will remain in Tel Aviv, he added.
After the vote, Wu Haitao, charge d'affaires of China's permanent mission to the United Nations, called for unity of the United Nations Security Council and the international community at large over the issue of Jerusalem and for common effort toward peace in the Middle East.
He said the issue of Palestine is at the core of Middle East peace and China has consistently supported and pushed forward the Middle East peace process.
"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," he said.
China will continue to push for a political settlement of the Jerusalem issue on the basis of a two-state solution, following Chinese President Xi Jinping's four-point proposal in July, he said.
The proposal calls for advancing a political settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian issue on the basis of the two-state solution, upholding a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept, further coordinating and strengthening concerted efforts for peace, and promoting peace with development.