Kosovo president: We’d have voted with U.S. on Jerusalem at United Nations

The voting results of a U.N. resolution condemning President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Dec. 21, 2017. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The voting results of a U.N. resolution condemning President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Dec. 21, 2017. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said his Muslim-majority nation would have voted with the United States against a UN resolution condemning the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Thaci said in a recent interview with the Albanian newspaper Express that were Kosovo to achieve full membership in the United Nations, it would vote “all the time” with the United States, including on last month’s resolution on Jerusalem.

The General Assembly approved a nonbinding resolution condemning the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Only eight nations voted with the United States; another 56, including Canada, either abstained or were absent. On Wednesday, the U.S. delegation to the United Nations threw a party for all 64 countries. Among those not voting for the resolution was Bosnia, which like Kosovo is Muslim majority.

Kosovars are overwhelmingly pro-American and also admire Jews. The Clinton administration led the NATO action in 1999 that pushed back Serbia’s repression of its Muslim-majority, Albanian-speaking province, and the George W. Bush administration recognized Kosovo when it declared independence in 2008. Jewish Americans, citing the example of world inaction during the Holocaust, helped spur the U.S.-led intervention in ’99.

More than 100 nations have recognized Kosovo as an independent nation. Those that do not – among them Israel – fear the example that would be set by recognizing a state that declares independence unilaterally. Opposition by Russia and China have kept Kosovo from getting UN membership.

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