PLO Slams U.S. Block of Salam Fayyad for UN Role, While Palestinian Authority Keeps Mum

'It defies logic that the most qualified candidate is blocked because it is perceived as detrimental to Israel,' PLO member adds.

Bloomberg

The Palestine Liberation Organization on Saturday denounced the American UN envoy's decision to block the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as the head of the UN mission to Libya.

While the Palestinian Authority, where Fayyad is considered a rival to President Mahmoud Abbas, did not immediately issue a response, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi called the decision "unconscionable."

"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. "It constitutes a blanket license for the exclusion of Palestinians everywhere.

"Dr. Fayyad is a person of the highest standards of professionalism and integrity, and this move is a case of blatant discrimination against him on the basis of his nationality," she continued.

Ashrawi expressed hope that "saner voices will prevail and that the U.S .will take back this irrational and discriminatory decision immediately."

U.S. Ambassador Nikki 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.

"The new administration proved once again that it stands firmly alongside the state of Israel in the international arena and in the UN in particular," he said.