Egyptian president Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi asked the UN Security Council for a last-minute postponement of the vote scheduled for Thursday on the resolution tabled by his government which demanded that Israel immediately halt settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
El-Sisi acted shortly after US President-elect Donald Trump called on the Obama administration to veto the resolution, adding his voice to the call issued by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. It was the first time an Arab government had backtracked on a resolution on Israeli settlements, one of the toughest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
Trump wrote: "As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations. He added that it would put Israel “in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis," he wrote.
After Trump's statement, a US administration official said: "We have no comment at this time."