After the US blocked the appointment of Salam Fayyad to the position of the UN envoy to Libya, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres defended the former Palestinian Authority prime minister. He also claimed that the UN is not biased against Israel.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
For the first time since the US blocked the appointment of former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to the position of the UN envoy to Libya, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres commented today (Monday) on the matter. According to Guterres, Fayyad is the “right person” to represent the international body in Libya in order to achieve peace.
During a summit in Dubai, Guterres said that Fayyad is “the right person for the right job at the right moment.” He also said that the fact that he cannot appoint him is “a loss for the Libyan peace process and for the Libyan people.”
Over the weekend, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley condemned the appointment: “For too long, the UN has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel.” However, it is still unclear whether the American opposition to the appointment will actually prevent Fayyad from representative the UN in Libya.
“I do not think there is any valid reason to avoid someone who is very competent to do a job that is extremely important,” Guterres stated, adding that putting an end to the Libyan conflict is in “everybody’s interest.” During an interview with Reuters, Guterres dismissed Haley’s comment about the international body being biased against Israel: “The UN needs to be able to act with impartiality in all circumstances and cannot be biased in favor of anybody.”