UN chief regrets US veto of Palestinian as envoy to Libya

The UN secretary-general disagreed that the appointment of a Palestinian as UN envoy to Libya would lead to bias against Israel, saying he regrets the US opposition. 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, during his address on Monday to the World Government Summit in Dubaidefended his nomination of former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as UN envoy to Libya.

“(Fayyad) has qualities that are recognized everywhere,” Guterres said, in response to a question regarding the Trump administration’s decision to veto Fayyad’s appointment. “He has a competence that nobody denies, and Libya requires the kind of capacity that he has, and I think it’s a loss for the Libyan peace process and for the Libyan people that I am not able to appoint him.”

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley defended the decision to veto Fayyad’s nomination, saying it was done in order to prevent further bias against Israel at the UN.

“For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel,” Haley stated.

Guterres rejected such concerns, saying, “People in the UN have just one area of loyalty they need to respect – it’s the UN Charter, and so I deeply regret this opposition and I do not see any valid reason for it.”

Nevertheless, the UN chief stressed the importance of impartiality at the UN, including with regards to Israel.

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“Having said so, I think the UN needs to be able to act with impartiality in all circumstances and cannot be biased in favor of anybody,” he added. “Things need to be dealt based on the real face value of things and so I think that if Israel does something in relation to which we disagree, we need to express that disagreement, but that doesn’t mean that Israel needs to be discriminated on all other areas.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News