Transcript: Russia Blocked Second Obama UN Resolution on Israel
According to a recently declassified transcript of a phone conversation between former White House adviser Michael Flynn and then-Russian ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak, Moscow blocked a 2016 United Nations initiative that would have imposed on Israel final parameters for a peace deal with the Palestinians. In December of that year, the US abstained on – and thus allowed passage of – Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement activity. However, the newly declassified transcript suggests that then-president Barack Obama had floated a second resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders within a specified timeframe. He apparently chose not to proceed due to objections by Russia, which, like the US, holds veto power in the Security Council. When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu caught wind of the parallel push, he enlisted members of the incoming Trump Administration, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin, to help thwart the move, thereby prompting the Flynn-Kislyak call. “Since you were interested in the issue of the Middle East… we wanted to convey to you and through you to the president-elect [Trump] that we have significant reservations about the idea of adopting now the principles… that our American colleagues are pushing for,” Kislyak told Flynn. “So, we are not going to support it…. You cannot just create facts on the ground that are not going to be implemented afterwards.” In response, Flynn expressed gratitude, saying: “I appreciate very much the reservations [about the move]…. That does not do anybody any good right now. I mean, we’ll come up with a solution that’s good for everybody.” While both the US and Russia have denied the story, Netanyahu reportedly spelled out its details in a closed meeting with lawmakers earlier this week.