Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton has reportedly called on the incoming Trump administration to retaliate against countries who supported a recent UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement.
Washington-based news site The Hill quoted Bolton as telling New York radio station AM 970 that Malaysia and Venezuela in particular should have their US aid cut.
However, Bolton advised that the US and Israel give the 14 countries that voted in favor of the resolution one last chance to correct themselves.
“I think what Israel, together with the incoming Trump administration, should do is say, ‘Look, we’re going to give everybody a chance to do this over again, repeal this resolution and pass something that’s acceptable. And if not, we’re going to take steps to show our unhappiness,” he was quoted as saying.
Nonetheless, he added that the resolution itself “was vindictive, because everybody knows that Donald Trump has a different policy view and this is intended to try to box him in.”
Fourteen out of fifteen of the UN Security Council members voted in favor of the motion on December 23 while the US abstained from the vote on the resolution that called for Israel to stop settlement construction.
Bolton’s name was rumored to be in the running for a top post in the incoming State Department, possibly Rex Tillerson’s deputy, but so far no announcement has been made.
Bolton’s comments came as Republicans in both houses of Congress are preparing resolutions that would condemn the United Nations for its recent actions on Israel, as their leadership considers more drastic legislative measures that would sanction the international body. Rep. Dennis Ross of Florida and Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas both expressed their intentions to introduce condemnatory resolutions within weeks. They are both hopeful they will receive support from across the aisle, as many Democrats have already come out against US President Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from the vote, allowing it to pass.
Republicans are also discussing additional legislation that would cut US funds to the UN based on its moves on Israel.
Congress appropriates roughly a quarter of the entire UN budget on an annual basis.
Michael Wilner contributed to this report.