Friday, 28 July, 2017

Israel Returns Ambassador to New Zealand, Ending Diplomatic Rift

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly warned New Zealand this act would be a "declaration of war" prior to the vote. The crisis began after New Zealand voted in favor of a United Nations resolution that claimed that settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal.

"Bill English should tell New Zealand exactly what he said to the Israeli Prime Minister in order for diplomatic relations to be restored", says Andrew Little.

Israel withdrew its ambassador from New Zealand in December and postponed the travel rights of New Zealand's ambassador to Israel, based in Turkey, after New Zealand co-sponsored a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Maayan said the Israeli ambassador to New Zealand will return to Wellington in the next few days.

After six months in the cold, Israel has agreed to restore diplomatic ties with New Zealand.

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She said she's trying to keep her focus on helping her father change the status quo. "I'll tell you something about that maybe sometime in the very near future".

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"There's a lot of things I think think we'd like to sort out relatively quickly. one of them would be getting back into the sort of relationship we've had with Israel in the past", he said, after writing an earlier letter to Mr Netanyahu.

Mr Brownlee maintained the U.S. had not used New Zealand as a pawn in proposing the resolution. "So being able to discuss them is important".

"What we said was that we very much regret the fallout that occurred and that diplomatic relations were broken for a time".

"It shows a lack of moral strength from Bill English to waver on a legitimate, principled stance as soon as a country like Israel throws its weight around. Every new settlement takes away productive land from Palestinians and increases resentment".

The contentious resolution, also co-sponsored by Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela and approved on December 23, declared that Israel's policy of building settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has "no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under global law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace". Its passing was seen as the crowning achievement of our two years on the UN Security Council.

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