Isolated US vetoes UN resolution over jihadists' fate
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The other 14 members of the Security Council supported the Indonesia-drafted resolution that encouraged countries to prosecute, rehabilitate and then reintegrate into society their nationals who had enlisted in foreign "terrorist" causes.
But the United States refused to back the resolution because it did not demand countries actively repatriate foreign fighters who travelled to the Middle East to join Al Qaeda and the Islamic State Group.
The US veto highlighted the growing divide between Washington and its European allies, as well as Arab countries, who have refused to commit to taking back foreign fighters since allied forces crushed the Islamic State over a year ago.
Thousands of foreign fighters and their families remain in prison camps in Syria and Iraq as countries resist taking them back.
Washington, whose insistence on including the word "repatriation" in the text was originally backed by Moscow, has long pressed the idea of repatriating foreign fighters detained in Syria and Iraq.
Some European countries, including France and Belgium, have adopted a case-by-case approach to repatriating the children or even wives of jihadist fighters held in the Middle East.
And the aim of the Indonesian text was to encourage actions that would combat recidivism among those who joined extremists.
But mostly the other countries have preferred that their nationals stand trial and face punishment in the countries where their crimes were committed, putting the onus mainly on Iraq to deal with them.
"It fails to even include reference to the crucial first step – repatriation to countries of origin or nationality," she said.
But another diplomat, insisting on anonymity, said the use of the veto had "become very cheap," adding that it was "very damaging" to cross-Atlantic relations.
- Growing division between allies -
The decision by the United States to use its veto power was striking and seemed to show Washington's growing irritation with its European partners, with whom it had until now worked to reach consensus on international affairs.
Last week, during a debate on counter-terrorism, Craft slammed the Europeans for "putting their head in the sand" when facing the "serious threat" posed by foreign fighters, just as she said they were doing with Iran.