UN vote: Muslim countries divided over Ukraine invasion

United Nations General Assembly. Editorial credit: Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com

Muslim countries seem to be split over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a vote yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly.

In a resolution demanding that Russia immediately end its military operations in Ukraine, 29 Muslim nations voted for, one Muslim country voted against, and 19 abstained or did not vote at all.

The Muslim countries that voted in favour were: Afghanistan, Albania, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brunei, Chad, Comoros, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Gambia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arabs Emirates and Yemen.

Syria, which has invited Russian troops into the nation to fight rebels, voted against.

And 18 Muslim countries abstained or did not vote – Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, Togo, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

In the end the resolution easily carried with a total of 141 countries voting in favour, thus reaffirming Ukrainian sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Assembly President Abdulla Shahid struggled to read the results of the vote as ambassadors began applauding, and then stood up, as he started speaking.

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Speaking afterwards to reporters, Mr. Shahid said the resolution reflected the international community’s grave concerns about the situation in Ukraine.

“I join member states in expressing concern about reports of attacks on civilian facilities such as residences, schools and hospitals, and of civilian casualties, including women, older persons, persons with disabilities, and children,” he said.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who also addressed reporters, stated he was duty bound to stand by the resolution and be guided by its call.

“The message of the General Assembly is loud and clear: End hostilities in Ukraine now.  Silence the guns now. Open the door to dialogue and diplomacy now.”

The UN chief stressed the need to act quickly as the situation in Ukraine threatens to get much worse, adding “the ticking clock is a time bomb.”

“Looking ahead, I will continue to do everything in my power to contribute to an immediate cessation of hostilities and urgent negotiations for peace,” Mr. Guterres told journalists. “People in Ukraine desperately need peace. And people around the world demand it.”

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