The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday (20 August) strongly censured Israel for proclaiming unified Jerusalem its national capital and called on all states which maintain embassies in the city to withdraw their missions.
CU Israeli permanent representative to the UN Mr Yehuda Blum speaking in English at UN Security Council
SV USA Delegation listening
SV Egyptian Permanent representative to the UN, Mr Ahmed Abdel Meguid, speaking in English
SV & GV Security Council President, Mr Vasco Futscher Pereira, presiding over vote in English. For and Against (2 shots)
SV US Secretary of State, Mr Edmund Muskie, abstaining for USA
SV President Vasco announces result of vote
BLUM: "Jerusalem has always been as it is today the capital of the Jewish people. And it has been the capital of the state of Israel since the restoration of our national independence more than three decades ago. Over that period, it has been as it is today the seat of the President of Israel, the Knesset, the Government and the Supreme Court. The law adopted by the Knesset on 30 July, 1980 merely reaffirms that position."
MEGUID: "This all leads us to question the sincerity of Israel's interest in peace. Is Israel now trying to renege on its obligations? Mr President, Egypt considers that the adoption of the bill on Jerusalem by the Knesset is contrary to the spirit of the Camp David Accord, and contrary to the peace process, and has no alternative but to delay the autonomy talks until this new obstacle has been removed."
NOTE TO EDITORS:
THE COMMENTARY FOR SHOTS 4-6 IS PROVIDED AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO SPEECH ON FILM OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL VOTE.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday (20 August) strongly censured Israel for proclaiming unified Jerusalem its national capital and called on all states which maintain embassies in the city to withdraw their missions. The resolution passed the Security Council unopposed, but with one abstention from the United States, whose representative Secretary of State, Edmund Muskie, called the resolution disruptive and an attempt to dictate to countries. But he also said that the status of Jerusalem could not be declared unilaterally as the Israeli parliament (Knesset) had done when it proclaimed Jerusalem as the undivided, perpetual capital of the Jewish state. The Israeli representative, Mr Yehuda Blum told the Security Council of Jerusalem's importance for his country.
SYNOPSIS: The U.S. delegation listened to Egypt's representative Ahmed Abdel Meguid doubt Israel's intentions.
The Security Council debate was calm, with the diplomatic positions of its 15 member states firmly established before President Vasco Futscher Pereira called for the vote. The resolution had no specific sponsor, but was know to be the work largely of Western European members, who, like the United States, rejected demands by Islamic states that the Security Council impose mandatory economic and military sanctions against Israel. The United States abstained from the vote, with the sanction clauses removed from the resolution. But even this, the final compromise is not binding. As secretary of State Muskie pointed out, it was not approved under the mandatory provisions of the United Nations Charter.