Canada attending Nikki Haley's 'friendship' party after Jerusalem vote at the UN
Donald Trump's pre-vote threats 'not a traditional approach,' says Marc-André Blanchard
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is throwing a party for all the countries who didn't vote against the United States on its controversial bid to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel — and Canada plans to attend.
On Thursday an overwhelming number of member states voted "yes" to the resolution, despite threats from U.S. President Donald Trump that he would cut their U.S. funding.
The resolution reaffirmed the United Nations' long-held stance that Jerusalem's final status must be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
After the vote, Haley tweeted a photo naming the 65 nations that either voted no, were absent or abstained, like Canada. She said: "We appreciate these countries for not falling to the irresponsible ways of the UN."
She later sent invitations to the group for a Jan. 3 reception to "thank you for your friendship to the United States."
Canada's ambassador to the UN, Marc-André Blanchard, told Chris Hall, host of CBC Radio's The House, that he received an invite and plans on attending.
"I will attend with great pleasure," he said.
Ahead of the vote, Haley sent a letter to UN delegates that the U.S. would be taking note of everyone's votes.
"As you consider your vote, I want you to know that the president and U.S. take this vote personally," she said.
Trump then throttled the tension, telling reporters he would rescind sending aid to countries who opposed him.
"For all these nations, they take our money and then vote against us. They take hundreds of millions of dollars, even billions of dollars and then they vote against us," he said. "We'll save a lot. We don't care."
Blanchard said Canada abstained because the resolution didn't advance the prospects for peace, not because of Trump's threats.
"This is an approach that is not a traditional approach at the UN. But this is the approach that they are choosing as a country and it's their right," he said.
UN researcher Richard Gowan, an associate fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, characterized it differently.
"This was pretty crude diplomacy. And frankly it was silly of the Americans to push so hard because it was always clear that the U.S. was going to lose this vote by a big margin," he said.
Gowan said the U.S.'s pre-vote tactics might have persuaded some countries, including Canada, to abstain, but comes off as a weak moment in Haley's diplomacy so far.
"I'm sure that Canada was very sensitive to the pressure from the U.S, but it is true that Ottawa has always been skeptical of these votes in the general assembly concerning Israel and Palestine," he said.
The other countries who voted with the U.S. were Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands and Togo.