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September 29, 2020 1:24 pm

Uruguay Foreign Ministry Official Booted From Post Following ‘Erroneous’ Anti-Israel Vote at UN

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The director-general of Uruguay’s Foreign Ministry was replaced in his post on Tuesday after the country’s Foreign Minister acknowledged that the Uruguayan delegate to the UN erroneously voted in favor of an anti-Israel resolution two weeks ago.

Francisco Bustillo — the foreign minister of Uruguay — said that he had replaced Director-General Pablo Sader in the post with his former chief of staff, Fernando López Fabregat.

At a meeting of the UN’s Economic and Social Council on Sept. 14, Uruguay was among the 43 member states who voted in favor of a resolution that accused Israel of violating the human rights of Palestinian women. The resolution condemned the Jewish state for alleged “systematic violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people and their effects on women and girls,” claiming as well that “the Israeli occupation remains a serious obstacle to Palestinian women and girls in realizing their rights.”

Eight countries abstained on the vote, while three — the US, Canada and Australia — voted against.

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Bustillo described Uruguay’s vote in favor as a “circumstantial error,” pledging that future policy decisions would “maintain the historical position of upholding the rights of that State [Israel].”

Following his removal from the Foreign Ministry, Pablo Sader declined to answer a query from El Observador, a Uruguyan news outlet, about the reasons for his departure.

The Uruguayan vote caused a minor political storm two weeks ago, with the country’s Jewish community issuing a statement of condemnation and Israel’s ambassador in Montevideo, Yoed Magen, meeting immediately afterward with President Luis Lacalle Pou.

The UN vote also attracted stinging criticism for focusing on Israel while ignoring serious violations against women in other countries.

“At a time when Iran is imprisoning women’s rights activists like Nasrin Sotudeh and Narges Mohammedi, Saudi Arabia is imprisoning and torturing numerous women’s rights activists, Pakistan has the highest number of documented and estimated honor killings per capita of any country in the world, and Belarus is beating women protesters in the streets, it is the theater of the absurd for these misogynistic regimes to be singling out Israel — alone in the world — as an alleged violator of women’s rights,” the Geneva-based NGO UN Watch declared in a statement at the time.

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