New Zealand stands by UN resolution against ‘settlements’

Despite restored ties with the Jewish state, New Zealand’s prime minister says his country stands by its support for a UN Security Council resolution slamming Israeli construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. 

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English stressed on Wednesday that his country has no intention of retracting or apologizing for its support and co-sponsorship of a UN Security Council resolution in December that declared all Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria to be illegal.

“The resolution expressed longstanding and international policy and we stand by those positions,” English told reporters, according to the New Zealand Herald. “What we do express regret about was the fact that it disrupted our relationship with Israel.”

English made his remarks after Israel announced its restoration of ties with New Zealand after a brief spat between both countries resulting from the South Pacific country’s co-sponsorship of the resolution.

The Herald also reported on Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee making similar remarks.

“We’re not apologizing for anything,” Brownlee was quoted as saying on Wednesday. “We’re simply saying that friends who are estranged can’t talk about these matters. So being able to discuss them is important.”

“Israel is a country that’s been a friend of New Zealand for a very long time,” he added. “We’re supportive of the fact that they are a democratically-elected government, which in that part of the world is not all that usual.”

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The New Zealand prime minister also conveyed satisfaction in seeing his country’s bilateral relationship with Israel return to normal.

“Whether we agree with a country or don’t agree with them, we certainly prefer to have diplomatic connection and it’s good that Israel has seen fit to restore their post in New Zealand,” he said.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News