UN rights chief to stay 2 more years; US, Syria aren't fans

By REUTERS
May 25, 2012 01:49

 
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UNITED NATIONS - The UN General Assembly on Thursday renewed the mandate of the world body's human rights chief Navi Pillay, but she was given an abbreviated term as part of a compromise deal with the United States, which dislikes her criticism of Israel, envoys said.

Syria also made clear it was not a fan of Pillay, a South African jurist whom the Syrian delegation described as "hostile" towards Damascus.

Despite Washington's attempt to block a renewal of Pillay's mandate, a deal was reached after South Africa and others persuaded U.S. officials to back a two-year term for Pillay, instead of the normal four years, UN diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

"It was a compromise that was brokered," a diplomat said. "Washington can live with her for two more years, but they really don't like her positions on Israel and the Palestinian issues."

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