By Alessandra Bocchi.
Tunis, 17 February 2017:
Former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad has said there will be “no deal” with the Israelis over his appointment as the next UN envoy to Libya.
There have been widespread reports that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres offered former Israeli government minister Tzipi Livni the post of assistant secretary-general in return for Israeli, and by extension, US support for Fayyad taking up the Libya envoy post.
There has been no formal statement about the offer, and Livni herself has refused to make any comment. However, if appointed, she would be the first Israeli to hold a top UN job.
Writing in his Facebook page, Fayyad said that he would have nothing to do with any such attempt to get around the US objection to his appointment, which in any event, he added, was completely illogical.
The opposition of new US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to his appointment on the basis that as a Palestinian he is unacceptable has resulted in a wave of international astonishment as well as criticism of Haley and of the Israeli government which subsequently backed her stand. Even in Israel there has been strong criticism. Fayyad, a former finance minister as well as prime minister, is widely respected as a moderate and pragmatist who tried to reform Palestinians institutions and put an end to corruption.