Malawi abstained from a vote Thursday during which more than 100 members of the United Nations overwhelmingly condemned the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The General Assembly passed the resolution condemning US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with 128s nation in favor, nine voting against, 35 abstaining and 21 no-shows.
Malawi one of 35 countries that abstained from the vote. Togo is the African country voted alongside Israel and USA against the resolution with the remaining countries all voting to condemn the US move.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emmanuel Fabiano and government spokesman Nicholous Dausi could not immediately comment on Malawi decision on the Jerusalem issue.
The resolution, which is non-binding, was expected to pass easily despite US pressure on countries to abstain, vote against it or simply not turn up for the vote.
But writing on Twitter, Jimmy Kainja—a social media communication expert – criticised the decision by Malawi to abstain from the crucial vote as cowardly.
“#Malawi’s strategy was to abstain—afraid to make a concrete decision. It’s the same strategy that cowardly MPs have used in Parliament when voting on crucial issues. No wonder no one takes us seriously. You have to have a position and stand by it!” tweeted Kainja.
Activist Billy Mayaya said Malawi’s abstaining was a “sovereign decision” although the expectation would have been to stand in solidarity with the broader decision of the community of nation on the matter.
According to Mayaya, Malawi had fallen for Trump’s “unprecedented saber rattling strategy” designed to control the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestine conflict.
Apparently, Malawi feared what Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said in her opening statement to the General Assembly ahead of the vote as she repeated vows to yank American foreign aid from countries that vote to condemn the move. Impoverished Malawi depend for much of its assistants from US.
Immediately after the vote the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, described the result as a “victory for Palestine”. The Palestinians’ UN envoy, Riyad Mansour, described the result as a “massive setback” for the US.
Trump’s decision on December 6 to recognize the city as Israel’s capital broke with the international diplomatic consensus, unleashed protests across the Muslim world and prompted a flurry of appeals to the United Nations.
The countries that voted with the United States against the resolution condemning its embassy move were Togo, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Honduras, Guatemala and Israel.
The full list of abstaining countries was: Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, the Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Kiribati, Latvia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda and Vanuatu.
The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Spain and China all voted to condemn the move of the American embassy as part of a total of 128 countries voting in favour of the resolution.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :