UN Jerusalem vote: Trump threatens countries with aid withdrawal
Washington: US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off American aid to any country that votes for a resolution at the UN condemning his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
At a Cabinet meeting at the White House, Trump said he would be "watching those votes" in the General Assembly when it meets in emergency session on Thursday over the US Jerusalem decision that has come under widespread flak, the Washington Post reported.
"They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us," he said. "Well, we'll be watching those votes. Let them vote against us; we'll save a lot. We don't care.
"But this isn't like it used to be, where they could vote against you, and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they're doing."
Trump ended by asserting: "We're not going to be taken advantage of any longer."
The President's remarks came after Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, warned on Twitter that "the US will be taking names" of countries that support the resolution.
And in a letter she sent to more than 180 UN ambassadors of member nations, she said she would report back to Trump on how they voted. "We will take note of each and every vote on this issue," she wrote.
The UN General Assembly will meet for a rare emergency session to discuss the status of Jerusalem on Thursday after the US vetoed earlier an Egypt-drafted request asking Washington to withdraw its decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital.
The US on Monday vetoed a Security Council draft resolution on the status of Jerusalem.
All other 14 members of the Security Council voted in favour of the Egyptian-drafted text. But as the US, a permanent member of the Security Council, has veto power, the draft resolution failed to be adopted.
Washington's threat to cut aid was swiftly criticized by Turkey, which accused the White House of further isolating itself through its threats.
"We expect strong support at the UN vote, but we see that the US, which was left alone, is now resorting to threats," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said before leaving Istanbul for New York.
"No honourable, dignified country would bow down to this pressure."
Derek H. Chollet, who served in the Obama administration, said: "This is an empty threat. Some of the countries Trump professes to be most admiring of would be caught in the cross-hairs of this."