President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold billions of dollars in aid for countries that vote against America's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The UN General Assembly will hold an emergency session on Thursday to vote on a draft resolution expressing "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem".

The resolution at the UN Security Council was vetoed by the US after the other 14 member countries – including Britain and France – backed it.

Speaking at the White House, Mr Trump said: "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."

Israel has intensively lobbied countries to oppose the resolution which states that any decision on the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be rescinded.

US ambassador Nikki Haley sent an email to fellow UN envoys telling them that Mr Trump will be "watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us".

At the UN we're always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us. On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names. pic.twitter.com/ZsusB8Hqt4

— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 19, 2017

In a Twitter post, she added that "the US will be taking names" when the ambassadors of the 193-nation assembly cast their votes on Thursday.

Mr Trump said Ms Haley had "the right message".

The president's decision to recognise Jerusalem earlier this month triggered protests across the Muslim world and drew strong international condemnation.

In a telephone call on Tuesday, Prime Minister Theresa May discussed "different" positions on Mr Trump's decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, agreeing the US needed to "bring forward new proposals for peace".

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Mrs May previously condemned the move as "wrong", despite the president's promise it would help bring stability to the region.

Video:Trump's Cabinet meeting prayer

Mr Trump's latest remarks came at a cabinet meeting which saw an unusual moment as Ben Carson, the housing and urban development secretary, led a prayer thanking God "for a president and for cabinet members who are courageous".

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