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Erdogan Says Trump Can't Buy Turkey's Will for UN Vote on Jerusalem

© REUTERS / Umit BektasTurkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, December 5, 2017
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, December 5, 2017 - Sputnik International
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to cave to Washington's threat to cut aid to countries that vote against the US over its Jerusalem move at the UN General Assembly, saying that he expects the world to teach Washington "a very good lesson" over its decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital.

"Mr. Trump, you cannot buy Turkey's democratic will with your dollars," Erdogan said in a speech televised in Ankara on Thursday.

"I hope and expect the United States won't get the result it expects [at the UN], and [that] the world will give a very good lesson to the United States," the Turkish president added.

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Speaking at a cabinet meeting in Washington on Wednesday, Trump vowed to cut US aid to any nation that votes against the US. The president complained that some of the US's partners receive hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, "and then they vote against us at the Security Council or…potentially, at the Assembly…Well, we're watching those votes. Let them vote against us; we'll save a lot. We don't care," he said.

In his Thursday speech, Erdogan defied Trump's threats and called on the international community to do the same. "I am calling on the whole world: never sell your democratic will in return for petty dollars," he said.

Ankara has emerged as one of the fiercest critics of Washington's Jerusalem decision and has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to support the Palestinians, both at the UN and other international venues, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Last week, Erdogan declared that the "day is close" when Turkey would open an embassy in East Jerusalem.

In response to Trump's Jerusalem move, the OIC declared East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and urged the UN Security Council to annul the US decision. Washington earlier vetoed a Security Council resolution aimed at legally voiding any unilateral decisions on the status of the multi-ethnic, multi-confessional city. The resolution was supported by the Security Council's 14 other members, including its four other permanent members.

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The UN General Assembly will meet for an emergency session on Thursday to discuss Jerusalem's status. According to UN sources, the body's Palestinian envoy hopes that the Assembly will draft a resolution that urges the US to retreat from its decision.

President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6 has led to widespread condemnation from Palestinians and within the Arab and Muslim world, and criticism from the US's own European allies. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to acknowledge Washington's decision and said that it ended any positive US role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

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