Jerusalem: US wields threats to sway UN General Assembly vote

US President Donald Trump Wednesday threatened to cut aid for countries which voted Monday in the Security Council or which may potentially back a draft resolution at an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly this Thursday (dec.21) condemning President Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem capital of Israel and to transfer the US embassy to the holy city.

“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,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

The US found itself isolated Monday after 14 members of the UN Security Council including its western and Arab allies supported a draft resolution condemning Trump’s December 6 unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel and to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the city. The resolution also called on countries to refrain from moving their missions to the city.

The US vetoed the resolution. It called the voting an insult and accused the Security Council of being biased.

Following the US veto, Turkey and Yemen supported by a group of Arab countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly to vote a resolution against Trump’s decision. However, the resolution will not be binding.

US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, Tuesday warned countries that she has been tasked to report back on countries voting against the US.

“The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us,” she said in letters to UN envoys.

“We will take note of each and every vote on this issue.”

Several diplomats have slammed the US tactic saying that it further weakens America’s position.

Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki, speaking in Istanbul Wednesday by the side of his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, said the US was making another mistake.

“This is really a new definition of world order in politics and it seems that the American administration… are putting their stamp on a new political reality that many countries will reject,” Malki said.

Senior diplomats under condition of anonymity indicated Haley’s move will not sway votes.

Middle East Eye reports that the US diplomat is rumored for a higher office.

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