Trump’s UN envoy pick Haley set to rip body’s Israel bias in Senate hearing
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Trump’s UN envoy pick Haley set to rip body’s Israel bias in Senate hearing

UN Middle East envoy says calls for Israel to annex parts of West Bank risk peace prospects with Palestinians

In this Nov. 15, 2016 file photo, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks in Orlando, Florida. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
In this Nov. 15, 2016 file photo, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks in Orlando, Florida. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

US President-elect Donald Trump’s appointee for UN envoy will lambaste the international organization at her upcoming Senate confirmation hearing, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The text of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s speech set for Wednesday criticizes the UN for its “bias against our close ally Israel.”

“Any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers,” the reported text of Haley’s address reads.

Haley’s speech Wednesday comes as the UN’s Middle East envoy said calls for Israel to annex parts or all of the Palestinian West Bank risk destroying prospects for peace.

Some Israeli ministers have urged an annexation of land earmarked to be part of a future Palestinian state and Trump’s pick to be ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has voiced support for such a move.

UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov delivered the warning to the Security Council, which met for the first time since the adoption last month of a contentious resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements.

“In the aftermath of the vote, emotions on the ground have been heightened,” he said.

“Calls have been made for the annexation of parts of or the whole of Area C,” which constitutes about 60 percent of the West Bank.

“Such divisive positions risk destroying the prospects for peace.”

Mladenov called on “all stakeholders” to avoid any unilateral action that would “prejudge a negotiated final status solution.”

The resolution criticizing Israel’s settlements policy was adopted after the United States refused to resort to a veto to block the measure, instead abstaining and allowing it to pass by a vote of 14-0.

At a peace conference in Paris on Sunday, some 70 countries affirmed their support for a two-state solution that would see a state of Palestine co-existing alongside Israel.

Israel and the Palestinians remain far apart on the peace process, with attention now turning to whether Trump will move to shore up Israel’s refusal to halt settlements.

Under the resolution adopted last month, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will report to the council every three months on whether Israel is in violation of the UN demand to stop expanding Jewish outposts.

Trump has promised to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in what would be a break from the majority of countries that does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Under the Oslo peace accords, the status of Jerusalem, including whether East Jerusalem will be the capital of a Palestinian state, is to be agreed in negotiations.

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