Trump threatens to cut aid over UN Jerusalem vote


WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut aid to countries that vote in favour of a draft UN resolution condemning the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump said at the White House on Wednesday the US would be “watching those votes” in the General Assembly.
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Reuters news agency quoted Trump as saying.
The UN General Assembly will hold an emergency session on Thursday to vote on the controversial US decision.
The motion is expected to pass easily in the 193-member UN body, but it will be non-binding.
Trump’s comments came after Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, sent threatening letters to UN member states, urging them to vote against the motion.
Haley also said on Twitter “the US will be taking names” of countries that vote in favour of the resolution.
Riyad al-Malki, Palestinian foreign minister, on Wednesday accused the US of “threatening” member countries of the UN General Assembly in advance of the vote.
Malki said American officials were “committing another mistake when they have distributed this famous letter trying to threaten countries, [and] threaten their sovereign decision to choose how to vote”.
“This is really a new definition of world order in politics and it seems that the American administration is putting their stamp on a new political reality that many countries will reject,” Malki said.
The UN session would show “how many countries will opt to vote with their conscience”.
Trump declared on December 6 Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital and announced the intention to move its embassy to the city.
The contentious move prompted large-scale protests and condemnation from leaders around the world.


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