Nikki Haley

Remarks on First UN Security Council Meeting - Feb. 16, 2017

Nikki Haley
February 16, 2017— New York City, New York
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Good morning.

First of all, as this is the first time I have dealt with this press corps, I just want to say I hope we can have a lot more conversations and continue to do these types of things but I’ll ask that I will respect you as we respected me. So as we develop this relationship we'll see how it goes.

The first thing I want to do I talk about what we just saw in there the Security Council just finished its regular monthly meeting on Middle East issues. It's the first meeting like that which I have attended and I have to say it was a bit strange.

The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security.

But at our meeting on the Middle East, the discussion was not about Hezbollah’s illegal buildup of rockets in Lebanon, not about the money in and weapons Iran provides the terrorist issue wait not be how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No instead the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Mideast.

I am new around here but I understand that's how the council has operated month after month for decades. I'm here to say that the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the iron clad support of the United States for Israel. I'm here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias.

We will never repeat the terrible mistake of Resolution 2334 and allow one-sided Security Council resolutions to condemn Israel. Instead we'll push for action on the real threats we face in the Middle East. We stand for peace. We support a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that it’s negotiated directly between the two parties.

President Trump resident rated in his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday. The outrageously biased resolutions from the Security Council and the general assembly only make peace harder to attain by discouraging one of the parties from going to the negotiating table.

Incredibly the U.N. Department of Political Affairs has an entire division devoted to Palestinian affairs. Imagine that. There is no division devoted to illegal missile launches from North Korea. There is no division devoted to the world's number one state sponsor of terror, Iran, and the prejudiced approach to Israeli, Palestinian issues does the peace process no favors and bears no relationship to reality of the world around us.

The double standards are breathtaking.

Just few days ago the United States sought unsuccessfully to have the Security Council condemn a terrorist attack to Israel where the terrorists opened fire on people waiting for a bus and then stabbed others. The Security Council would not hesitate to condemn an attack like that in any other country. But not for Israel. The statement was blocked. And that's downright shameful.

Israel exists in a region where others call for it complete destruction. And in a world where antisemitism is on the rise, these are threats that we should discuss the United Nations as we continue working toward a comprehensive agreement that would end the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

But outside of the U.N. there is some good news. Israel's place in the world is changing. Israel is building up new diplomatic relationships, more and more countries recognize how much Israel contributes to the world, and they're recognizing that Israel is a beacon of stability in a troubled region, and Israel is the forefront of innovation, entrepreneurship and technological discovery.

It is the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change. The United States will not hesitate to speak out against these biases in defense of our friend and ally, Israel.

I will say we were -- I think we saw maybe a slightly different tone in the meeting, but we will have to see how it goes forward.

Thank you, and I’ll open it up for any questions.

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