Donald Trump threatens to cut aid to countries over UN Jerusalem vote
Donald Trump has threatened to withhold “billions” of dollars of US aid from countries which vote in favour of a United Nations resolution rejecting the US president’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
His comments came after the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, wrote to about 180 of 193 member states warning that she will be “taking names” of countries that vote for a general assembly resolution on Thursday critical of the announcement which overturned decades of US foreign policy.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Trump amplified Haley’s threat.
“Let them vote against us,” he said.
“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,” he said. “We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”
The warning appeared aimed largely at UN members in Africa, Asia and Latin America who are regarded as more vulnerable to US pressure.Egypt, which drafted Monday’s UN security council resolution which the US vetoed, is particularly vulnerable, receiving $1.2bn in US aid last year.
But Trump’s comments may also resonate elsewhere – including in the UK, which is hoping to negotiate a quick post-Brexit trade deal with Washington.
The emergency UN general assembly meeting was called for Thursday to protest against the US veto at Monday’s security council meeting on a resolution the Jerusalem issue – which was supported by all other 14 members.