Washington (Reuter): The United States opposed on Friday to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' choice of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as the body's new representative to Libya.
It was unclear whether the objection, expressed in a statement by Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Haley, had ended Fayyad’s candidacy.
The United States wields significant influence as one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
No one was immediately available from the secretary-general’s office for comment.
Haley said in her statement, "The United States was disappointed to see a letter indicating the intention to appoint the former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister to lead the UN Mission in Libya.”
She said, "For too long the U.N. has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel."
Haley added that the United States "does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nation.”
The U.S. ambassador said Washington encouraged Israel and the Palestinians "to come together directly on a solution" to end their conflict.
Fayyad, a Texas-educated former International Monetary Fund official, was prime minister of the Palestinian Authority from 2007 to 2013. He had earned praise in the international community for his efforts to crack down on corruption and to build effective Palestinian public institutions.
A German diplomat who has served as the U.N. representative since November 2015, Guterres selected Fayyad to take over as Libya envoy from Martin Kobler.