Belfast Telegraph

UK should back 'brave, noble and honest' Trump over Israeli embassy move: Ian Paisley

By Jonathan Bell

A senior DUP MP has said the UK Government should back Donald Trump on his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognising it as the Israeli capital.

Ian Paisley also said the matter was no business of the UN and it should stop "moralising and posturing" on the issue.

Thursday saw the UN General Assembly overwhelming vote against the US administration's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital despite threats America would "take names" of those that voted against it.

The resolution, sponsored by Yemen and Turkey, reaffirmed what has been the United Nations' stand on the divided holy city since 1967 - that Jerusalem's final status must be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

United States and Israel voted against the resolution. The other countries which supported the US were Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Twenty-two of the EU 28 countries voted for the resolution, including the UK and France. Germany – which in the past has abstained on measures relating to Israel – also voted in favour. While 35 countries including Australia, Mexico and Canada abstained.

MP Ian Paisley - whose party props up the minority Conservative government - said the UK should support the US on the matter.

"This was an entirely and exclusively an American decision," Mr Paisley told the Belfast Telegraph. "It is not for the UN to criticise where a sovereign nation puts its embassy or support in terms of the capital.

"I think the American president has been brave, noble and honest in fulfilling an electoral commitment Obama, Bush and Clinton before him made. The only difference is President Trump has been true to his word and the rest have not.

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Ian Paisley with Donald Trump. The North Antrim MP has supported the US president.

"The president has done what he said he would do and was elected on that basis. For the UN to climb on its high horse to moralise and condemn is just posturing and lip service."

The vote came after US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley issued a direct threat to those considering going against America.

The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in this assembly," she said.

North Antrim MP Paisley continued: "It may be unusual for elected representatives to fulfill their promises instead of dropping them - which is the usual among world leaders - at least he is doing what he said he would do.

"His Secretary spoke volumes. The UN is the first to come running to evoke the deep pockets of support from the US. But when it is fulfilling its mandated position, then they get on the moral high horse.

"And the UK should support the American president, it is not the UN's business."

Prime Minister Theresa May, following President Trump's decision to move the embassy, said the move was "unhelpful for peace prospects" in the region.

"What peace," added Mr Paisley

"We have been following this road map to peace for the last 15/20 years and we are not getting very far. It is a nonsense to say the actions of moving the embassy somehow accelerates the region on the road away from peace - it's on the road to honesty.

"The current strategy followed by the UN has been an abysmal failure."

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