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ARAB-US RELATIONS - Mar 25 - UN Move After Yassin Killing Vetoed.

US Ambassador John Negroponte vetoes an Algerian draft resolution at the UN Security Council to censure Israel for its Mar 22 assassination of Hamas leader Shaikh Yassin (see Arabs-Israel). The US, alone among major powers in not condemning the assassination as an extrajudicial killing, rejects the resolution because it does not also denounce Hamas for suicide bombings in Israel. The vote is 11 in favour, three abstentions, and the US veto that kills the measure. Negroponte says: "Israel's action has escalated tensions in Gaza and the region, and could set back our effort to resume progress towards peace". But he adds: "This Security Council does nothing to contribute to a peaceful settlement when it condemns one party's actions and turns a blind eye to everything else occurring in the region". PA minister Saeb Erekat told Reuters: "I'm afraid this US veto will be taken by Israel as encouragement to continue on the path of violence and escalation, assassinations and reoccupation" of Palestinian territory. Calling the US the "chairman of the axis of evil in the world", Hamas political leader Mohammad Ghazal said the veto was "Israel's green light to carry out assaults and crimes". An Israeli government official in Jerusalem welcomed the US veto but expressed disappointment that Washington had been left no other option, saying: "We are troubled by this cynical attempt to condemn those who are fighting terrorism without denouncing the terrorists themselves". Abdel Raouf El-Reedy, Egypt's former ambassador to Washington, said the US was hurting its image in the Arab and Muslim world by "continually using its veto to protect Israel from any kind of condemnation".
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7PALE
Date:Mar 27, 2004
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