Egypt confirms: Sissi, Trump agreed in call to delay UN vote on settlements
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Israeli official: We became aware Obama was not going to use veto

Egypt confirms: Sissi, Trump agreed in call to delay UN vote on settlements

US president-elect had publicly urged Washington to veto draft, because Israel feared Obama was going to let it go through

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

CAIRO, Egypt — Egypt agreed to postpone a UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements when US President-elect Donald Trump called President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the presidency said Friday, confirming reports that emerged Thursday.

Egypt requested Thursday that its resolution demanding Israel halt settlements be postponed after Jerusalem launched a frantic lobbying effort. An official in Jerusalem later Thursday accused the Obama administration of attempting a diplomatic ‘hit’ against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the settlements by planning to let the resolution pass, and a second Israeli source said the administration, in its final days, was violating a “core commitment” to defend Israel at the UN.

“The phone call touched on the draft resolution before the United Nations Security Council on Israeli settlements,” a statement from Sissi’s office said.

“After becoming aware that the (US administration) would not veto the anti-Israel resolution, Israeli officials reached out to Trump’s transition team to ask for the president-elect’s help to avert the resolution,” an Israeli official told AFP on Friday.

Trump, who had campaigned on a promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, bluntly said publicly that Washington should use its veto to block the resolution.

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed,” he said in a statement.

Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi speaks during a meeting at the Plaza Hotel on September 19, 2016 in New York. (AFP PHOTO / DOMINICK REUTER)
Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi speaks during a meeting at the Plaza Hotel on September 19, 2016 in New York. (AFP PHOTO / DOMINICK REUTER)

Sissi, a former military chief who overthrew his Islamist predecessor Mohammed Morsi in 2013 in a move condemned by Obama, has expressed admiration for Trump.

He told the Financial Times in a recent interview that he was “very optimistic” about Trump.

“President-elect Trump is tackling terrorism with more resolve and seriousness and that’s exactly what’s needed now,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President-elect Donald Trump meeting at Trump Tower in New York, September 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President-elect Donald Trump meeting at Trump Tower in New York, September 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Meanwhile, four members of the Security Council on Thursday gave Egypt a midnight deadline to push ahead with the resolution, saying they would bring it for a vote if Cairo stood by its decision to delay.

“In the event that Egypt decides that it cannot proceed to call for vote on 23 December or does not provide a response by the deadline, those delegations reserve the right to table the draft … and proceed to put it to vote ASAP,” wrote New Zealand, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal in a note they presented to Egyptian officials, according to Reuters.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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