Arab leaders, European heads of state and US President Donald Trump all defended their varying positions on the civil war in Syria, the occupation in Palestine and the increase of tensions between Iran and the US, at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
US President Donald Trump proudly claimed to the assembly that “peace was advanced” in the Middle East by naming Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
Having arrived late to the 73rd UN General Assembly, Trump broke with tradition and was the third world leader to speak at this year’s session, instead of talking first as host to the United Nations.
His comments over the Jerusalem declaration, widely seen as dangerously counterproductive by the international community, comes as reports emerged that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to organise a conference to thwart Trump’s peace plan for Israel and Palestine, known as “the deal of the century”.
Despite starting late, Trump wasted no time in talking up his administration.
His claim early in his speech that “in less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country” drew rumblings from the assembled world leaders, with many of them breaking into open laughter. “I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK,” Trump responded, clearly taken aback.
Trump began by praising Saudi Arabia, Israel and other allies for pursuing reform agendas that will make their “countries great again”.