Salam Fayyad was Palestine’s former prime minister from 2007-2013. The United States has made the decision of blocking Fayyad as an interest for Israel, a US ally.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Friday that her government “was disappointed” to learn UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres planned to appoint Salam Fayyad as the special representative, reported by Al Jazeera.
Feuds have developed between Israel and Palestine over the matter of Israel’s settlements in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These settlements have been deemed as illegal by the United Nations.
The US has only one defense of objecting Fayyad as the representative, that being the “United States will act, not just talk, in support of our allies”, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said.
She stated that she “was disappointed” to find UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres planned to appoint Fayyad.
Guterres defended his choice by stating his decision “was solely based on Mr. Fayyad’s recognized personal qualities and his competence for that position”.
Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from New York, said the strong statement on the UN being “unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority” said by the US ambassador had surprised many.
“United Nations staff serve strictly in their personal capacity. They do not represent any government or country,” Guterres also stated.
“Fayyad is universally liked by many diplomats here at the UN, so there was a real sense that the letter coming from Guterres was nothing more than a formality and that his appointment would be announced as early as next week.”
Hanan Rashwi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), rejected Haley’s remarks as “absolutely ridiculous”, additionally stating that there was no logical sense of the US position on Fayyad.
“This is discrimination against the Palestinian people as a whole,” she told Al Jazeera. “This is the rejection, beyond logic, of the most qualified person with the highest standard of profession and integrity.
“It sets a precedent of excluding Palestinians from participation in the international arena, and depriving the international community from the skills and abilities, on the basis of national identity.”
UN diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press news agency that Fayyad was well-respected for his work in restructuring the Palestinian Authority and stimulating the Palestinian economy.
“This is the beginning of a new era at the UN, an era where the US stands firmly behind Israel against any and all attempts to harm the Jewish State,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said of the US decision on objecting Fayyad.
However, President Donald Trump was quoted on saying there were issues on Israel’s illegal settlements, which did not help mitigate prospects peacefully.