US President Donald Trump is threatening countries at the 193-member UN General Assembly (UNGA) by saying that the American muscle will come into play in the form of suspension of financial aid if they go against Washington in a crucial Jerusalem vote on Thursday, 21 December.
Both Trump and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, have said that those aid-receiving nations who back the non-binding resolution, which opposes the recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, at the UN will face the consequences.
"All of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council or they vote against us, potentially, at the Assembly, they take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us," Trump said.
"Well, we're watching those votes. Let them vote against us; we'll save a lot. We don't care," he added.
The UNGA is convening an emergency session on Thursday at the request of the Arab and Muslim states after the US vetoed a UN Security Council resolution, which was supported by 14 states of the 15-member body, earlier this week. Washington used a rare veto to defeat the resolution at the Security Council but stood isolated diplomatically.
The motion is expected to easily pass at the UNGA but some of the US allies such as the Czech Republic, Canada and Hungary are expected to bow to the American pressure by not supporting the resolution.
It is unclear how much Trump can practically implement his threat in pulling the financial aid in many nations but some of its allies in Asia, Africa and Latin America could face pressure.
Egypt, which first drafted the Security Council resolution, is seen particularly vulnerable as it receives an annual military aid of $1.3bn. The country had received American aid of $77.4bn in total between 1948 and 2016. Yemen, which is currently sponsoring the UNGA resolution along with Turkey, also receives humanitarian aid from the US.
Earlier, Haley had circulated a letter to 180 nations of the 193 member states warning that Trump would take any anti-American vote "personally".
"To be clear, we are not asking that other countries move their embassies to Jerusalem, though we think it would be appropriate. We are simply asking that you acknowledge the historical friendship, partnership and support we have extended and respect our decision about our own embassy," the American envoy wrote to the states.
"As you consider your vote, I want you to know that the president and [the] US take this vote personally," she added.