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Mapping it: Striking US isolation in UN vote

Mapping it: Striking US isolation in UN vote

A vast, continuous zone of clear support for a ceasefire is revealed

QiOSK

Mapping the votes of December 12 at the UN General Assembly (where every state has a single, equal vote with no veto powers) reveals massive support across the Global South (but also among many European states and U.S. allies in Asia, Japan and South Korea) for an unconditional ceasefire in Gaza.

This is as clear a diplomatic message as it gets: that Washington, now starkly isolated on the issue, should be using its leverage to end Israel’s relentless bombing campaign in Gaza. The support was even greater than the October 27 resolution which called for a “humanitarian truce” — with, among others, India, Philippines, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Fiji coming over to a ceasefire in the latest vote.

However, the Global South had varying preferences on the amendment introduced by the U.S. condemning Hamas (but not Israel) by name and its “heinous terrorist attacks” on October 7.

Here a divide is apparent between mainly Muslim-majority states — almost all of which voted against the amendment — and other Global South states. Thus a contiguous belt stretching from Mauritania in western Africa to Pakistan opposed the amendment, as did Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia. They were joined by South Africa, Cuba, Bolivia, Uganda, and a few other non-Muslim majority states.

The rest of the Global South — including India, Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Ghana, and Kenya — abstained, did not vote, or supported the U.S. amendment.

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Diplomacy Watch: Russia could be invited to Ukraine-led peace talks

Diplomacy Watch: Russia could be invited to Ukraine-led peace talks

QiOSK

Ukraine would consider inviting Russian officials to a peace summit to discuss Kyiv’s proposal for a negotiated end to the war, according to Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff.


“There can be a situation in which we together invite representatives of the Russian Federation, where they will be presented with the plan in case whoever is representing the aggressor country at that time will want to genuinely end this war and return to a just peace,” Yermak said over the weekend, noting that one more round of talks without Russia will first be held in Switzerland.

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Biden officials want Russian frozen assets to fund Ukraine war
Janet Yellen, United States Secretary of the Treasury. (Reuters)

Biden officials want Russian frozen assets to fund Ukraine war

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On Tuesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen strongly endorsed efforts to tap frozen Russian central bank assets in order to continue to fund Ukraine.

“There is a strong international law, economic and moral case for moving forward,” with giving the assets, which were frozen by international sanctions following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, to Kyiv, she said to reporters before a G7 meeting in San Paulo.

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Will Michigan ‘uncommitted’ disaster wake Biden up on Gaza?

Activist Layla Elabed speaks during an uncommitted vote election night gathering as Democrats and Republicans hold their Michigan presidential primary election, in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S. February 27, 2024. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Will Michigan ‘uncommitted’ disaster wake Biden up on Gaza?

QiOSK

A protest vote in Michigan against President Joe Biden’s handling of the war in Gaza dramatically exceeded expectations Tuesday, highlighting the possibility that his stance on the conflict could cost him the presidency in November.

More than 100,000 Michiganders voted “uncommitted” in yesterday’s presidential primary, earning 13.3% of the tally with most votes counted and blasting past organizers’ goal of 10,000 protest votes. Biden won the primary handily with 81% of the total tally.

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