As the US prepared to abstain from UN security council resolution 2334 in December 2016, the transition team of US President Donald Trump, who was just over a month from taking office, including then planned national security advisor Micheal Flynn, worked to block the vote, Foreign Policy reported Friday. Foreign Policy stated that on the day of the UNSC vote the Trump's transition team requested the contact info of ambassadors and foreign ministers of countries that are members of the Security Council. A former State Department official said that the request was ultimately denied, citing a fear that the transition team would harm diplomatic aspirations. One US official spoke to Foreign Policy stating that Nikki Haley, who Trump had already chosen to serve as the US ambassador to the UN, even attempted to reach Samantha Power. Power, who was at the time US ambassador to the UN, did note take Haley's call. Micheal Flynn also called multiple country's ambassadors to the UNSC, in an attempt to persuade them.
The resolution passed on December 23, 2016, when 14 out of the 15 voting members of the Council voted in favor of the resolution, none voted against it, and the United States chose to abstain instead of casting its veto on the initiative.At the time of the vote Trump came out squarely against it, saying the resolution “should be vetoed.” “As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations. This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position, and is extremely unfair to all Israelis,” Trump said in a statement.For several months, as the possibility of an anti-settlement resolution was being discussed, the question remained whether or not former president Barack Obama – an ardent opponent of the settlements – would use the US veto in the Security Council to shield Israel from it. In the days before the vote, there was a sense in Jerusalem that he would not do so.That sense was broadcast by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who tweeted that “the US should veto the anti-Israel resolution,” and issued an even sharper statement again just before the Egyptians announced that they were pulling back the resolution.“Israelis deeply appreciate one of the great pillars of the US-Israel alliance: the willingness over many years for the US to stand up in the UN and veto anti-Israel resolutions,” he said. “I hope the US won’t abandon this policy; I hope it will abide by the principles set by President Obama himself in his speech in the UN in 2011: that peace will come not through UN resolutions, but only through direct negotiations between the parties.”Danielle Ziri contributed to this report.
UN Security Council passes resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building