Canada to abstain from UN vote condemning Trump Jerusalem move

Canada to abstain from UN vote condemning Trump Jerusalem move
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Canada will abstain from a United Nations vote on Thursday condemning the United States's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"Canada is strongly committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel. Canada’s longstanding position is that the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute," Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, said.

"Canada continues to support building the conditions necessary for the parties to find a peaceful solution," he added. "We are disappointed that this resolution is one sided and does not advance prospects for peace to which we aspire, which is why we will abstain on today’s vote.”

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According to Barak Ravid, a reporter for Israel's Channel 10 News, Canada considered voting against the resolution calling on Washington to reverse its Jerusalem decision, but ultimately decided to abstain to avoid being perceived as too willing to align itself with the U.S.

The decision reportedly came after President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE threatened on Wednesday to cut off foreign aid to countries that support the resolution, which is set to come to a vote in the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday.

It was that threat, according to Barak, that prompted Canada's abstention.

The U.N. resolution is not legally binding, but would exert political pressure on Trump to reverse his decision. 

Trump announcement earlier this month reversed decades of U.S. policy in the Middle East and threatened to derail future peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.