By Gail Alexander
December 23, 2017 – guardian.co.tt
This country’s policy has always been to support steadfast recognition of the State of Israel with secure territorial borders as well as establishment of a Palestinian State, the Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Moses said yesterday.
He gave this explanation when asked about T&T’s abstention from Thursday’s vote in the United Nations General Assembly resolution on the status of Jerusalem.
The UN moved a resolution on the issue after US President Donald Trump’s recent declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The General Assembly voted 128-9 to deem Trump’s declaration “null and void”.
Moses said, 128 countries, including Guyana, Barbados, Suriname, Grenada, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Venezuela and major allies of the United States voted in favour of the resolution, while nine countries, including Israel and the United States, voted against it.
T&T was among 35 countries, including Jamaica, The Bahamas, Antigua, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Panama, Mexico and Canada, that abstained. St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia were among 21 countries which were not present for the vote.
“Essentially, the resolution goes against the United States of America for its recent decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Moses said.
“Trinidad and Tobago’s policy has always been to support the two states policy which means steadfast recognition of the State of Israel with secure territorial borders as well as the establishment of a Palestinian State.
“It is in this context that any and all negotiations relating to the future of Jerusalem arise. We would wish to see the United States play a major role in bringing this about by preserving its position as an influential broker in all negotiations which would have peace and security as its primary objective.”
Moses added: “It is the sovereignty of Trinidad and Tobago that allows us to have been ahead of our time in supporting a One China policy and in standing in opposition to the continuation of the embargo against Cuba.”
“Trinidad and Tobago stands with all our partners, including the United States, in pursuance of these objectives which we genuinely believe will contribute to world peace and advance humanity in an improved world economic order.”