In a rare diplomatic twist, Liberian President George Weah has rescinded his country’s no vote registered on Dec. 12 to block United Nations General Assembly resolution seeking humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.
Weah has ordered Foreign Ministry officials to correct the vote in support of humanitarian efforts and peaceful settlement of the crisis, a move that widens US isolation on the matter.
“That Liberian that voted for war is wicked and he voted himself; not us and God will not spare that person’s life,” the President told worshipers at his private Chacel Sunday in Monrovia.
“They voted wrongly and we will fix it. Our vote will be with the other countries that voted for diplomacy and not war. Maybe, he was doing it to tarnish my character and government because we are leaving power. But I want to tell him or her that they are wasting time”, President Weah reacted.
Weah latest stance is a 360 degree shift from a January 2023, major foreign policy statement restricting the West African nation’s diplomatic relationship to countries that have friendly ties with the United States as Russia influence grows in the region.
“If you are not friend of America, you are not our friend,” Weah told lawmakers in what turned out to be his last annual address.
“We are traditional allies and there is no compromise.”
The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday 12 Dec. to demand a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza in a strong demonstration of global support for ending the Israel-Hamas war. The vote also shows the growing isolation of the United States and Israel.
The vote in the 193-member world body was 153 in favor, 10 against and 23 abstentions. The United States and Israel were joined in opposing the resolution by eight countries: Austria, Czechia, Guatemala, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay.
The support for a cease-fire resolution was higher than for an Oct. 27 resolution that called for a “humanitarian truce” leading to a cessation of hostilities, where the vote was 120-14 with 45 abstentions.
After the United States vetoed a resolution in the Security Council on Friday demanding a humanitarian cease-fire, Arab and Islamic nations called for an emergency session of the 193-member General Assembly to vote on a resolution making the same demand.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding. But the assembly’s messages “are also very important” and reflect world opinion, U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said Monday.
The General Assembly vote reflect the growing isolation of the United States as it refuses to join demands for a cease-fire. More than the United Nations or any other international organization, the United States is seen as the only entity capable of persuading Israel to accept a cease-fire as its closest ally and biggest supplier of weaponry.
In tougher language than usual, though, President Joe Biden warned before the vote that Israel was losing international support because of its “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza.
“I think it will send a message to Washington and to others,” Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters before the vote. He said a demand from the United Nations, whether it’s the Security Council or the General Assembly, should be looked at as binding.
“And Israel has to abide by it, and those who are shielding and protecting Israel until now should also look at it this way, and therefore act accordingly,” Mansour said.