UN chief: US blocking Palestinian pick for Libya envoy was ‘serious mistake’
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UN chief: US blocking Palestinian pick for Libya envoy was ‘serious mistake’

At Munich conference, Guterres says DC should not have regarded Salam Fayyad as a representative of the Palestinian government

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Cairo on February 15, 2017. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Cairo on February 15, 2017. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

MUNICH — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Saturday that the US decision to block a former Palestinian prime minister from leading the UN political mission in Libya was “a serious mistake.”

Washington blocked the proposed appointment of Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority’s prime minister from 2007 to 2013, a week ago. It said it was acting to support its ally, Israel.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Guterres said: “I believe that it’s essential for everybody to understand that people serving the UN are serving in their personal capacities. They don’t represent a country or a government.”

Guterres said that Fayyad “was the right person in the right place at the right time.”

Former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, seen here when still in office, heads a cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, April 16, 2013. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, seen here when still in office, heads a cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, April 16, 2013. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Libya has been gripped by unrest since its 2011 revolution and the killing of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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