The United Nations Security Council has a new Council President this month.
United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley will preside as President of the Council, a position which rotates within the 15-member body each month. Haley assumed control of the council from Matthew Rycroft of Great Britain, and is slated to hand over the position to the representative of Uruguay in May.
Upon assuming the position, Ambassador Haley made clear at a press conference Monday evening that the US would no longer allow the UN Security Council agenda to be dominated by the Israeli-Arab conflict.
“So much has been put towards Israel and the Palestinian Authority and not enough has been put towards some of the other issues,” Haley said. “That is our goal for the Middle East open debate.”
Haley also revealed that she had warned Palestinian Authority representative Riyad Mansour that the US would block Arab-backed motions at the UN Security Council directed at Israel and called upon the Palestinian Authority to show “genuine willingness” to return to the negotiating table.
“My conversations with the representative of the Palestinian Authority was very much that… we want them to move towards coming to the table. I told him that… we weren’t going to support the Palestinians’ actions here at the UN until they came to the table. We need to see some genuine willingness to come to the table.”
“We don’t want to see any additional measures brought at the UN that would bash Israel or lift up the Palestinian Authority until we can get these negotiations to happen. And I do think that the discussions that have happened at the UN have been more of a hindrance towards the peace process than it’s been a help, because it’s caused defensiveness to happen.”
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