Israel to limit ties with nations which voted against it in UN vote

Netanyahu will not meet with the foreign ministers of those countries and their ambassadors will not be received at Israel's Foreign Ministry.

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Jerusalem, Dec 27: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday ordered the Foreign Ministry to temporarily limit all working ties with nations who voted for last week's UN Security Council resolution demanding that Israel halt settlement building in Palestinian territory.

Two senior Israeli officials, who wish not to be named, told CNN that business with the embassies of countries like Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal and New Zealand will be suspended.

Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu will not meet with the foreign ministers of those countries and their ambassadors will not be received at Israel's Foreign Ministry, the officials added.

In addition, travel by Israeli ministers to these countries will also be limited, said the officials, noting that Israeli ambassadors in the countries will still be able to continue working with the governments of their host nations.

The move came after 10 envoys were summoned to the Foreign Ministry for a personal rebuke over the vote. However, it was unlikely to have any practical effect on either Israel or the other countries, as it does not affect trade, security coordination, or other aspects of the relations.

Israel was furious at the passage of the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which stated that the settlements in the West Bank "had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security."

The US abstained at the UN Security Council vote on the resolution.

IANS

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