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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at the U.N. General Assembly, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, at United Nations headquarters. President Donald Trump's threat to cut off U.S. funding to countries that oppose his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital has raised the stakes in Thursday's U.N. vote and sparked criticism of his tactics, with one Muslim group calling it bullying or blackmail. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The UN voted 128-9 to declare Trump's Jerusalem decision 'null and void'


Updated December 21, 2017 12:26 PM EST

The General Assembly of the United Nations (U.N.) on Thursday voted 128-9 to declare the U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital city "null and void."

Thursday's vote took place during an emergency session of the assembly, and the resolution called on President Trump's administration to reverse his decision about Jerusalem's status earlier this month.

Trump earlier this month declared that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, sparking global uproar due to its long-contested state between the Israelis and Palestinians.

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Thursday's General Assembly resolution will exert strong diplomatic pressure on the U.S., but it is not legally binding and America is not obligated to abide by the measure.

Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian foreign affairs minister, on Thursday described Trump's move as internationally isolating to the U.S. in a speech before the General Assembly's vote.

"Does the United States not wonder why it stands isolated in this position? he asked.

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Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., responded by warning that the international body's reaction may have consequences with Americans.

"America will put our embassy in Jerusalem," she said of the building, which is currently located in the less controversial spot of Tel Aviv. "This is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do."

"No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that," Haley added. "But this vote will make a difference in how Americans view the U.N."

Updated December 21, 2017 10:53 AM EST

President Trump is threatening to cut off U.S. aid to all countries voting in favor of a United Nations (U.N.) resolution Thursday.

The resolution condemns Trump’s decision earlier this month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Trump on Wednesday echoed U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley’s vow the day before that America “will be taking names” for which nations back the resolution.

“All of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the [U.N.] Security Council or they vote against us, potentially, at the [U.N. General] Assembly, they take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars and then they vote against us,” he said at the White House.

“Well, we’re watching those votes,” Trump added during a Cabinet meeting. “Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

“People are tired of the United States – people that live here, our great citizens that love this country – they’re tired of this country being taken advantage of, and we’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”

The New York Times on Wednesday reported that the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday will vote on the controversial resolution Trump was discussing.

A draft text of the resolution showed it would voice “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.”

The resolution would also urge other nations not to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The U.S. on Monday used a rare veto to block a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for Trump’s administration to reverse its call on Jerusalem.

Egypt drafted the resolution, which 14 nations voted in favor of before the U.S. cast the lone dissenting vote and utilized its veto power.

Trump’s decision earlier this month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital upended decades of U.S. foreign policy and sparked outrage worldwide, particularly in the Arab world.

The president also vowed to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but State Department officials have since said the change will take several years due to logistics.

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