Speaking to reporters in New York on Tuesday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that Washington would stop funding UNRWA if the Palestinians continue to refuse to hold peace negotiations with Israel. The US is UNRWA’s top donor.
Nikki Haley Photo Credit: EPA
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Tuesday that unless the Palestinians resume negotiations with Israel, the funding from Washington for the United Nations’ Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) will stop. “The president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding … or stop funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiating table,” Haley said.
Speaking to reporters in New York, Haley said that the Palestinians’ behavior in response to Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem has been counterproductive to the prospects of peace. “What we saw with the resolution was not helpful to the situation,” she said. “We’re trying to move for a peace process, but if that doesn’t happen, the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.”
The US is UNRWA’s top donor. In 2016 alone, Washington gave the UN agency over $300 million.
Haley then defended Trump’s decision to recognize Israel and begin the operation of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem: “I stood proudly, even if I was the only hand in the Security Council, to fight for the will of the people of the United States. They wanted to see the embassy moved to Jerusalem and we followed through with that.”
“We very much still want to have a peace process, nothing changes with that,” she added. “The Palestinians now have to show the world they want to come to the table. As of now, they’re not coming to the table, but they ask for aid. We’re not giving the aid, we’re going to make sure they come to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process.”