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Netanyahu opposed United Nations post for former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad

Netanyahu opposed United Nations post for former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad”

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres defended the appointment.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has defended his choice to appoint former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as UN envoy to Libya and expressed his "deep" regret over USA opposition to his appointment.

Former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will not be heading a United Nations mission to Libya - mostly because he's Palestinian.

However, Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, vetoed the appointment, saying Washington did not support the message the move would send.

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"For too long the United Nations has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel", the statement also said.

A spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Guterres chose Fayyad for the position based on his "recognized personal qualities and his competence for that position". "They do not represent any government or country", he said. The time has come for positions and appointments to be made to the Israeli side as well.

The US decision to block the appointment surprised Guterres who did not receive indications of any clear opposition to his choice during preliminary consultations. According to the Israeli politician's office, however, "no official offer has been received".

Israel's ambassador to the UN Danny Danon praised the US decision to veto Fayyad's nomination: "The new administration proves that it stands with Israel in the global arena at large and at the UN specifically, working toward the two countries' mutual interests".

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What's more, Fayyad's appointment to head the United Nations mission in Libya was based on his qualifications, having nothing to do with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"It defies logic that the appointment of the most qualified candidate is blocked because it is perceived as detrimental to Israel", Ashrawi said in a statement.

The statement also expressed hope that the U.S. would "take back" the decision and instead work to "block petty acts of bigotry and vindictiveness and the further victimization of the Palestinian people for the mere fact of their existence".

He added: "Fayyad's nomination has nothing to do with the Arab-Israeli struggle or the Palestinian cause".

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