US Blocks New UNSMIL Appointment

The United States has blocked the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (pictured) to lead the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

In a statement, Ambassador Nikki Haley, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said:

"The United States was disappointed to see a letter indicating the intention to appoint the former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister to lead the UN Mission in Libya. For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel.

"The United States does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nations, however, we encourage the two sides to come together directly on a solution. Going forward the United States will act, not just talk, in support of our allies."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he believed Fayyad was the right person for the job. Reuters quotes Guterres as saying:

"It is a loss for the Libyan peace process and for the Libyan people that I am not able to appoint him. I do not think there is any valid reason to avoid someone who is very competent to do a job that is extremely important."

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