The United States has blocked the appointment of a top Palestinian official to head the United Nations’ political mission in Libya. Ambassador Nikki Haley, the U.S. representative, said the apppointment of former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was an example of the body’s anti-Israel bias. “For too long the U.N. has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel,” Haley said. The appointment of Fayyad was made by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Israel’s U.N. representative, Danny Danon, praised Haley and the Trump administration. Guterres responded to the controversy through a spokesperson, saying the decision to tap Fayyad for the post was made because of his “personal qualities and his competence,” adding that Fayyad would not be representing a government in the position. “The Secretary-General reiterates his pledge to recruit qualified individuals, respecting regional diversity, and notes that, among others no Israeli and no Palestinian have served in a post of high responsibility at the United Nations. This is a situation that the Secretary-General feels should be corrected, always based on personal merit and competencies of potential candidates for specific posts,” the statement continues.
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