US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the United Nations is moving to block the appointment of the former Palestinian prime minister to lead a mission to Libya. According to the Independent, Nikki Haley, the new American ambassador to the UN, said the US administration was ‘very disappointed’ at Salam Fayyad’s selection for the role.
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“For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favour of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel,” Haley said.
Palestine is a non-member observer state at the UN and its independence has been recognised by 137 of the 193 member nations, but Haley said the US does not recognise a Palestinian state “or support the signal” Fayyad’s appointment would end.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had sent a letter to the Security Council, indicating his intention to appoint him as the next special representative to Libya, where a fragile unity government is struggling to end the civil war amid growing pressure to stop hundreds of thousands of refugees departing the country’s shores for Europe.
Fayyad, a Texas-educated former International Monetary Fund official, was prime minister of the Palestinian Authority from 2007 to 2013. He had earned praise in the international community for his efforts to crack down on corruption and to build effective Palestinian public institutions.
Guterres selected Fayyad to take over as Libya envoy from Martin Kobler, a German diplomat who has served as the UN representative since November 2015.