U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a UN Security Council meeting in New York, August 23, 2018.
\ LUCAS JACKSON/ REUTERS

Nikki Haley: UNRWA Must Be Reformed Before Trump Offers Support

U.S. ambassador to the UN says Palestinian Authority is 'bashing' the U.S. while also expecting it to provide financial support to the Palestinians

WASHINGTON - U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Tuesday that the Trump administration wants to see reform at UNRWA, the UN agency in charge of assisting Palestinian refugees and their descendants, as a condition for fully supporting it. Haley also said that the Palestinian Authority is "bashing" the United States while also expecting it to provide financial support to the Palestinians.

Haley, who spoke at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies summit in Washington, added that the Trump administration was going to change the discussion over a Palestinian "right of return," although she did not elaborate how exactly that would be done. Over the weekend an Israel Television News Company report stated that the administration will try to reduce the recognized number of Palestinian refugees by almost 90%, and produce a statement that the United States objects to any discussion of a right of return for Palestinians into Israel.

Haley added that the UN's bias against Israel was "pathetic" and that one of the reasons the Trump administration decided to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council was in order to not give the body any legitimacy. She added that the administration is planning to offer new resolutions at the UN that will condemn Hamas for its actions in Gaza in recent months, including the use of human shields.

>>Trump's hardball policy on the Palestinians will blow up in Israel's face ■ Trump's thuggish unilateral policy will make it harder to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ■ Mounting U.S. economic pressure on Palestinians could reignite Israel-Gaza violence

Haley also discussed the situation in Syria and said that it was not responsibility of the United States to fund reconstruction efforts in that country, but rather, the responsibility of the Syrian government and of Russia. "They own Syria," she said, explaining that the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons against its own people is a major reason for how bad the situation in the country currently is.


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