PA accuses U.S. of 'threatening' of UN members

PA official in charge of foreign affairs accuses U.S. of threatening UN member countries ahead of vote on Jerusalem.

Elad Benari ,

Riyad al-Malki
Riyad al-Malki
Flash 90

Riyad al-Malki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of foreign affairs, on Wednesday accused Washington of "threatening" member countries of the UN General Assembly ahead of a vote on rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Malki said, according to the AFP news agency, that American officials were "committing another mistake when they have distributed this famous letter trying to threaten countries, (and) threaten their sovereign decision to choose how to vote."

He was speaking at a press conference with Turkish Foreign Ministry Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul, shortly before both men left for New York.

The UN General Assembly will hold an emergency session on Thursday to vote on a proposed measure rejecting the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem, after the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution at the Security Council.

On Tuesday, Nikki Haley, Washington's UN envoy, warned countries that she would be "taking names" on the countries which voted to condemn the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem.

“At the UN we're always asked to do more and give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American people, about where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us. On Thursday there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The U.S. will be taking names,” Ambassador Haley tweeted.

On Wednesday, Trump threatened to cut off aid to countries that vote against his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at the General Assembly.

Speaking at the last Cabinet meeting of 2017, Trump said that the U.S. would take note of the countries which receive hundreds of millions, and even billions, of dollars in U.S. aid and still vote to criticize his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“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,” he told reporters before the Cabinet meeting.

Malki said on Wednesday that the American threats are “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 the UN session would show "how many countries will opt to vote with their conscience."

"They will vote for justice and they will vote in favorr of that resolution that was presented by both Yemen and Turkey on behalf of the Arab group and OIC," he said.

Cavusoglu, for his part, said his country expected "strong support" for the Palestinian Authority in the UN General Assembly.

"Everyone with a conscience ... is against this decision that usurped Palestine's rights," he was quoted as having said.

The foreign minister said any honorable country would not bow to U.S. pressure, urging Washington to reverse its mistake.

"God willing, I believe we will obtain a good result tomorrow (Thursday)", he added.