Jakarta. An overwhelming majority of United Nations member countries on Thursday (21/12) voted in favor of a resolution calling for the United States to withdraw its declaration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Indonesia is one of co-sponsors of the resolution.
The United States was defied by 128 countries at the General Assembly. Only nine countries voted in favor of the US decision, 35 abstained from voting, including the Philippines, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Twenty-one countries did not cast their vote, including Myanmar, also a member of Asean.
"Any attempts to change the character and status of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity," the Indonesian ambassador to the UN, Dian Triansyah Djani, said at the meeting, as quoted in a statement.
Dian added that such attempts violate international law and are "a major obstacle" to achieving peace through a two-state solution.
The rare emergency session was requested by Arab and Muslim states, following a failed attempt at the UN Security Council to adopt a similar resolution on Monday, due to a veto from the United States — one of the council's five permanent members.
Thursday's resolution "demands that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions."
It also calls on all states to refrain from establishing their diplomatic missions in the highly contested city.
However, resolutions at the General Assembly do not carry the same weight as those made by the Security Council, as they are non-binding.
Prior to the meeting US President Donald Trump had reportedly threatened to cut aid for countries voting against the US.
Guatemala, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Togo joined the United States and Israel in voting "no."
Major US allies, like Britain, France, Germany and Japan, voted in favor of the resolution, although there were abstentions from others, including Australia and Canada.
The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the US will still move its embassy to Jerusalem.
"No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that. But this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the UN and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the UN," she said.