U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold billions of dollars in aid from nations who vote against his Jerusalem declaration in a United Nations General Assembly vote on Thursday.
"Let them vote against us,” the U.S. President said on Wednesday, according to The Guardian. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care," he added.
Trump went on to say that things will be different they were under previous U.S. administrations.
"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 U.S. president's threatening words come after U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Hailey warned that she would be "taking names" of those who vote against her nation's wishes.
On Monday, all the U.N. Security Council members – except the U.S. – voted in support of a resolution seen as a condemnation of Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the U.S. embassy to the city.
Despite a 14 to 1 vote, Ambassador Hailey vetoed the decision on behalf of the U.S.
The U.S., China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom have veto power on the security council.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley blasted the other security council members, which include close American allies such as France and the United Kingdom, calling their votes a challenge to her nation's sovereignty.
"Today for the simple act of deciding where to put our embassy, the United States was forced to defend its sovereignty. The record will reflect that we did so proudly," Haley said after the vote, according to CNN.
"Today for acknowledging a basic truth about the capital city of Israel, we are accused of harming peace. The record will reflect that we reject that outrageous claim. For these reasons and with the best interest of both the Israeli and the Palestinian people firmly in mind, the United States votes no on this resolution."
The U.S. threat to withhold aid will serve as a major deterrent to many countries, including Egypt, which benefitted from $1.2 billion in U.S. aid last year.
Many other developing nations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia are recipients of significant American aid, while also being strong supporters of Palestine. Resolutions supporting Palestine and condemning Israeli aggression routinely pass in the U.N. General Assembly.
Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was widely condemned and criticized by leaders throughout the Middle East and around the globe. The decision also marked a stark departure with decades of established U.S. foreign policy.
In response to the move, protests have erupted throughout the Middle East and around the world. Muslim leaders have also called for the recognition of East Jerusalem as Palestine's official capital.
Turkish and Lebanese leaders have also expressed their desire to establish embassies to Palestine in the occupied city.