Palestinian leaders say they will not be blackmailed after United States 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 Palestinian Authority 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 Washington "nothing but lies and deceit" over the years - accusing the country of being a "safe haven for terrorists".

So, what's behind Trump's threats and what will it mean for U.S. policy in the region?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


Steven Rogers - 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 US assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan and Pakistan

Source: Al Jazeera News