Trump Threatens to Cut Aid to UN Members Over Jerusalem Vote

    20 December, 2017

    U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to stop giving financial aid to countries that vote in favor of an emergency United Nations resolution this week.

    The draft resolution calls for the United States to withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday, "They take hundreds of millions 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," the president added.

    President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    The 193-member U.N. General Assembly will hold the rare emergency special session on Thursday. Arab and Muslim countries requested the special session. Egypt drafted the resolution.

    The United States vetoed the draft resolution on Monday in the 15-member U.N. Security Council. The remaining 14 Security Council members voted in favor of it. The draft resolution does not directly mention Trump or the United States. But it expresses "deep regret at decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem."

    Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said in a letter to several U.N. states that Trump had asked her to "report back on those countries who voted against us."

    She repeated that warning in a Twitter post, writing, "The U.S. will be taking names."

    Bolivia's U.N. Ambassador, Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz, said of Haley's message: "The first name that she should write down is Bolivia." He added that the message was disrespectful and arrogant.

    Several senior diplomats said Haley's warning was not likely to change many votes in the General Assembly, where such public, direct threats are rare.

    Miroslav Lajcak, the president of the General Assembly, did not comment on Trump's threat. But he did say, "It's the right and responsibility of member states to express their views."

    A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also did not comment on Trump's remarks.

    Trump reversed US position on Jerusalem

    Trump suddenly reversed years of U.S. policy earlier this month when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision led to anger and protests from Palestinians and across the Arab world, as well as concern among Western allies of the United States.

    Trump has said he plans to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The draft U.N. resolution calls on all countries to not establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

    Israel considers Jerusalem its indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there. Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city's eastern area, which Israel captured in the Six-Day War in 1967. The move was never recognized internationally.

    I'm Ashley Thompson.

    Reuters reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.


    Words in This Story

    draft - n. a version of something (like a document) before the final version

    take names - expression, keeping track of countries (in this instance) that are against the U.S.

    arrogant - adj. showing the insulting attitude that they are better, smarter, or more important than other

    senior - adj. higher standing or rank