WASHINGTON, DECEMBER 29, 2016 – Incoming U.S. President Donald Trump has asked Israel to stay strong, saying his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, is fast approaching and things will change.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Trump’s remark was not unconnected with the continued controversies over recent UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories.
“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect.
“They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but not anymore.
“The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)!
“Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” the president-elect said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a tense relationship with Obama, particularly over the abstention, responded to Trump on Twitter, thanking the incoming president.
“President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!” Netanyahu responded to Trump.
Earlier, the incoming president had also given an impression that the transition process between him and Obama’s administration was not going smoothly. He later changed his view after he said he got a phone call from President Barack Obama.
According to him, there had been “many inflammatory statements” and “roadblocks” from Obama.
“Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks.
“Thought it was going to be a smooth transition – NOT!” Trump had tweeted.
NAN recalls that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had in his remarks on Wednesday, defended U.S. abstention rather than veto the UN Security Council resolution on the Israeli settlements in Palestinian.
Kerry also warned Israel that the two-state solution to the crisis rocking the Middle East was in jeopardy.
Trump had on Monday, criticised the UN after the resolution, describing the global body as a mere talk club.
“The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.
“So sad,” Trump said.
The president-elect had earlier asked the U.S. to veto the resolution.
“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed.
“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations.
“This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
However, the resolution was put forward on Friday by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela after Egypt, who earlier sponsored it asked for its suspension.
The Obama administration disregarded Trump’s directive and went ahead to abstain from voting on the resolution when it finally came up on Friday, drawing criticisms from the president-elect and his team.
The 15-member Council adopted the resolution by a vote of 14 in favour while the U.SUB. abstained.
Trump had, thereafter, threatened that “things will change” at the global international organisation when he assumesthe U.S. presidency from Jan. 20, 2017.
The White House had, in a response by Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Mr Ben Rhodes, cautioned Trump’s and his team, saying Obama remains president till Jan. 20, 2017.
“On the President-elect, the first thing I’d just say is that there’s one President at a time.
“President Obama is the President of the United States until January 20th, and we are taking this action (abstention), of course, as U.S. policy,” he said