Palestinian envoy: UN Jerusalem vote 'massive setback' for US

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United Nations (United States) (AFP)

The Palestinians' UN envoy on Thursday described as a "massive setback" for the United States a UN vote in favor of a motion rejecting Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"One hundred twenty-eight versus nine -- that's a massive setback for the United States of America," Ambassador Riyad Mansour told AFP, commenting on the result of the vote at the General Assembly.

A total of 35 countries abstained in the 193-nation assembly and an additional 21 member-states either did not turn up at the assembly or chose not to vote at all.

President Donald Trump had warned ahead of the vote that "we're watching" and threatened reprisals against countries backing the measure, which reaffirms that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved through negotiations.

"They made it about them," Mansour said about the US threats.

"They did not make it about Jerusalem, so when you make it about them and to only be able to get nine votes to say 'no' to it, I think it was a complete failure for their campaign."

The measure was sent to the General Assembly after it was vetoed by the United States at the Security Council on Monday, although all other 14 council members voted in favor.

While resolutions by the General Assembly are non-binding, a strong vote in support carries political weight.