Don't Block Fayyad at the UN

Doing So Will Make Two Conflicts Harder to Resolve

Salam Fayyad, then Palestinian prime minister, at a Christmas tree lighting in Bethlehem, West Bank, December 2010. Ammar Awad / REUTERS

With one act, the administration of Donald Trump has made two Middle East conflicts harder to resolve. By blocking Salam Fayyad, a respected former Palestinian prime minister, from becoming the United Nation’s new special envoy to Libya, Trump’s team undermined the UN’s efforts to solve the crisis in Libya, kept a uniquely qualified candidate from taking on a role in which he might have had a real impact, and prevented the reemergence of a moderate Palestinian leader who could potentially play a major role in a future peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced his decision to appoint Fayyad as envoy to Libya on February 9, after coordinating that decision with the members of the UN Security Council, including the United States. Then came the surprising statement released by the United States’ UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next afternoon. The United States had

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