Thursday, January 04, 2018

Inside Story: Will Donald Trump Cut All Aid to Palestine and Pakistan?

Palestinian leaders say they will not be blackmailed after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid worth around three quarters of a billion dollars a year.

He made the statement on Twitter, blaming Palestinians for refusing to engage in Middle East peace talks. The PA responded saying the US should not blame Palestinians for 'its own failures'.

Relations with the US have plummeted since Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital last month. The aid cut threatens money allocated to the Palestinian Authority. But most US funding goes to development and building projects - and not directly to the Authority itself.

The US is also withholding millions in financial assistance to the Pakistani government. Saying Islamabad has given the US 'nothing but lies and deceit' over the years - accusing the country of being a 'safe heaven for terrorists'. So, what's behind Trump's threats and what will it mean for US policy in the region?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra | Guests: Steven Rogers - A member of the Donald J Trump for President Advisory Board; David Sedney - Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Previously served as Deputy U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defence for Afghanistan and Pakistan