United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has reportedly offered Israeli lawmaker, Tzipi Livni, a senior post at the world body, shortly after Washington, in a controversial move, blocked the appointment of a former Palestinian premier as the UN special envoy to Libya.
According to a report published by the Israeli daily, Haaretz, on Sunday, Livni, who represents the center-left Zionist Union political alliance at the Knesset (Israeli parliament), has been offered the position of under-secretary-general in what has been seen as a measure to boost Tel Aviv’s influence within the world body.
From 2001 to 2009, the 58-year-old legislator served in the cabinets of Israel’s former prime ministers, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, most notably as the regime’s foreign minister in the latter’s administration, during which she got acquainted with Guterres, who was Portugal’s prime minister at the time.
Some two weeks ago, Livni made a one-day trip to New York aimed at having a personal meeting with the UN chief. Haaretz’report further said that the pair, among other issues, had discussed the possibility of Livni’s appointment. It added that during the tenure of former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, she had also shown an interest in a top post at the UN.
If the Israeli lawmaker accepts the offer, she will become the first Israeli to serve as the UN under-secretary-general. The UN Security Council, however, will ultimately decide whether she gets the position.
The new development comes after on Friday night, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley blocked the designation of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to lead the UN mission in Libya, saying that the administration of US President Donald Trump “was disappointed” to learn that Guterres had proposed him for the job.
The Haaretz report, citing some unnamed UN officials, added that Guterres was allegedly trying to forge a deal with Washington, under which the US would take back its fierce opposition to Fayyad, Guterres’ favorite pick for the position, and in return, US-backed Livni would attain the senior post at the world body.
The developments come as the Tel Aviv regime is under fire for its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The international community, including Tel Aviv’s own allies, views the Israeli settlements as illegal under the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied territory.
Since January 20, when Trump, an ardent supporter of Israel, took office, Tel Aviv has launched a major land grab drive in defiance of global calls for the regime to stop its settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian lands.