Trump says US will only give aid 'to our friends'

Published September 25, 2018
US President Donald Trump speaks during the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly in New York. —AFP
US President Donald Trump speaks during the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly in New York. —AFP

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the United States would only give aid to countries that it regarded as allies.

Addressing world leaders at the start of the annual United Nations General Assembly, Trump lashed out at the OPEC oil cartel, China's trade policies and the International Criminal Court which he vowed the United States would never accept.

“We will examine what is working, what is not working, and whether the countries who receive our dollars and our protection also have our interests at heart,” Trump said in his speech.

“Moving forward, we are only going to give foreign aid to those who respect us and frankly are our friends.”

Editorial: US aid cut

Moreover, the US president accused members of the OPEC oil cartel of “ripping off” the world as he called for a lowering of fuel prices.

The United States stands ready to export our abundant affordable supply of oil, clean coal, and natural gas,” Trump told the United Nations General Assembly.

“OPEC and OPEC nations are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world, and I don't like it. Nobody should like it.”

Furthermore, Trump urged heavy pressure both on Iran and Washington's trading partners as he offered a robust defence of the US right to go it alone.

Hours before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani takes the same rostrum, Trump denounced the clerical regime as sowing “chaos, death, and destruction” and doubled down on the US withdrawal of an international agreement on curbing Tehran's nuclear programme.

But the real estate mogul turned populist leader was comparatively subdued a year after he stunned the global body with his bellicose language on North Korea, including a threat to “totally destroy” Kim Jong Un's state.

This time around, Trump heralded his own diplomacy on North Korea including a historic summit in June with Kim, saying he has worked to “replace the specter of conflict with a bold and new push for peace.” With midterm elections in the United States little more than a month away, Trump's address at times took on the feel of a campaign address as he heralded low unemployment.

Boasting that his team “has achieved more than any administration in the history of our country,” Trump was met with laughter, highly unusual in the solemn General Assembly.

“I didn't expect that reaction, but that's okay,” Trump responded.

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