US to vote ‘No’ instead of abstain on UN resolution about Golan
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US to vote ‘No’ instead of abstain on UN resolution about Golan

Outgoing U.S. envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, announced her country’s decision to its stance on criticism of Israel's control over the Golan Heights

Nikki Haley voting at the United Nations Security Council
Nikki Haley voting at the United Nations Security Council

The United States will vote “No” on a UN resolution criticising Israel’s control of the Golan Heights instead of abstaining as it has done in previous years, Nikki Haley said.

The outgoing U.S. ambassador to the United Nations announced her country’s decision in a statement Thursday about a General Assembly vote scheduled for Friday.

“In previous years, the United States has abstained from voting on this resolution,” she wrote about the annual passing of a draft resolution titled “The Occupied Syrian Golan.” However, “given the resolution’s anti-Israel bias, as well as the militarisation of the Syrian Golan border, and a worsening humanitarian crisis, this year the United States has decided to vote no,” she wrote.

“If this resolution ever made sense, it surely does not today. The resolution is plainly biased against Israel. Further, the atrocities the Syrian regime continues to commit prove its lack of fitness to govern anyone,” Haley added.

Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 after capturing it from Syria in the 1967 war. Syrian troops had used the volcanic plateau frequently as an elevated position to fire from on Israeli troops and settlements.

In 2011, Syrian President Bashar Assad saw the eruption of a vicious civil war, stoked by sectarian hatreds between his country’s Sunni majority and his ruling Alawite minority — a group with Shi’ite affiliations — and its Druze allies. He had lost control of most of Syria’s territory until regaining much of it thanks to Russian military intervention and Iranian support.

Close to half a million people have died in the war, which features many atrocities, and millions have been injured and displaced.
“The destructive influence of the Iranian regime inside Syria presents major threats to international security. ISIS and other terrorist groups remain in Syria. And this resolution does nothing to bring any parties closer to a peace agreement,” Haley added.

The United States has voted in the past against UN resolution singling out Israel over its control of the Golan.

In 2016, under the president Barack Obama, the United States voted “No” on UNGA Resolution A/71/L.8, along with Canada, Israel and three Pacific nations. Passed by a large majority, that resolution calls for peace talks between Syria and Israel and Lebanon and Israel to be restarted immediately, and for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

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