Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn admitted on Friday that he asked Russia to delay a U.N. vote seen as damaging to Israel, but diplomats said it was not the only country he and presidential adviser Jared Kushner lobbied.
In the hours before the vote by the 15-member United Nations Security Council on Dec. 23, Flynn also phoned the U.N. missions of Uruguay and Malaysia, and Kushner spoke with Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the United States, according to diplomats familiar with the conversations, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The lobbying took place before Republican President Donald Trump, who was known for his pro-Israel campaign rhetoric, took office on Jan. 20. It failed, with the Security Council adopting a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building on land Palestinians want for an independent state. The vote was 14 in favor and one abstention by the United States.
The efforts made on Israel's behalf capped several days of unusual diplomacy. In a surprise Dec. 21 move, Egypt had called for a vote the next day on the draft resolution, prompting both Trump and Israel to urge Washington to veto the text.
A senior Israeli official told Reuters that Israeli officials contacted Trump's transition team at a "high level" to ask for help after failing to persuade Democratic President Barack Obama's administration to veto the draft U.N. resolution.
According to court documents made public on Friday, a member of Trump's presidential transition team, later identified by sources as Trump's son-in-law Kushner, told Flynn on Dec. 22 to contact officials from foreign governments, including Russia, to convince them to delay the vote or veto the resolution.
Flynn spoke with then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak that day, and again the following day, according to the court documents.
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