Abbas meets former PA prime minister central in UN envoy dispute

Abbas and Fayyad have had a tense relationship since the latter resigned as PA prime minister in 2013 over sharp disputes with the PA president.

February 13, 2017 17:18
1 minute read.
Abbas and Fayyad

Abbas and Fayyad. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA,REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with former PA prime minister Salam Fayyad on Monday in Ramallah, days after the United States objected to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s intention to appoint Fayyad as UN envoy to Libya.

Abbas and Fayyad discussed the UN envoy position and efforts to undermine the former Palestinian premier’s appointment, Wafa, the official PA new agency, reported.

Further details of the meeting were not made available and PA officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Abbas and Fayyad have had a tense relationship since the latter resigned as PA prime minister in 2013.

On Thursday, after the US reportedly confirmed to Guterres that it would support Fayyad, the UN secretary general sent a letter to Ukraine, which currently holds the presidency of the UN Security Council, stating his intention to appoint the former Palestinian official as UN Envoy to Libya.

The following day, however, the US made an about-face when its UN Ambassador Nikki Haley issued a statement expressing her dismay with the appointment.
US ambassador to UN Haley objects to ex Palestinian Authority PM Fayyad leading UN mission to Libya

“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,” Haley said, effectively blocking Fayyad’s appointment.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backed Haley’s move on Sunday, saying that “free gifts cannot be constantly given to the Palestinian side.”

Guterres is now reportedly exploring the possibility of appointing opposition lawmaker Tzipi Livni as one of his deputies in exchange for US backing for the Fayyad appointment.

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