Palestinian President Abbas Backs Former Premier Fayyad for UN Job

The U.S. blocked Salam Fayyad's appointment to lead the UN mission in Libya, saying it was acting to support its ally Israel.

FILE PHOTO:Salam Fayyad attends an opening reception of Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Delevopment (CEAPAD) in Tokyo February 13, 2013.
Issei Kato/REUTERS

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad and voiced his support for his appointment as a UN envoy to Libya.

The United States on Friday blocked Fayyad's appointment to lead the UN political mission in Libya, saying it was acting to support its ally Israel, who objected to the appointment.

Abbas' office said Tuesday that two had met in the morning and spoke about Israel's attempts to block the appointment. Fayyad's nomination for the post, Abbas said, proved that the UN holds him to be a diplomat of international standing whose experience can help peace and global stability.

On Saturday it emerged that Knesset Member Tzipi Livni was offered a senior position at the UN as well, a day after U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley vetoed Fayyad's appointment.

Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that he opposed Fayyad's appointment and said at a cabinet meeting that he was briefed on the impending appointment several days ago.

"I said that the time has come for parity in the attitude toward Israel, and that the Palestinian side can't be given freebies all the time," he said. "The time has come for the Israeli side to get status and appointments if [Fayyad] is tapped" for the position of special UN envoy to Libya.

On Friday, Haley said Friday the Trump administration "was disappointed" to see that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sought to appoint Fayyad for the job. "For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel," Haley said.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on Friday voiced enthusiastic support for Haley's statement.