Good morning. First of all, as this is the first time I have dealt with
this press corps, I just want to say that I hope that we can have a lot
more conversations and continue to do these types of things. But I'll
ask that I will respect you if you'll respect me. So as we develop this
relationship, we'll see how it goes.
So the first I want to do is talk about what we just saw in there. And the
Security Council just finished its regular monthly meeting on Middle
East issues. It's the first meeting like that that Iíve 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
illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and
weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat
ISIS. It was not about how we hold
Bashar al-Assad accountable for
slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the
meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the
I am new around here, but I understand thatís how the
Council has operated, month after month, for decades.
Iím here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this
anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United
States for Israel. Iím here to emphasize the United States is determined
to stand up to the UNís 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 will 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 is negotiated directly between the two parties, as
President Trump reiterated in his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu
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.
UN 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 worldís number one state-sponsor of terror,
Iran. The prejudiced approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues does the
peace process no favors. And it bears no relationship to the reality of
the world around us.
The double standards are breathtaking. Just a few days ago, the United
States sought, unsuccessfully, to have the Security Council condemn
terrorist attack to Israel, where the terrorist 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 thatís downright
Israel exists in a region where others call for its complete destruction
and in a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise. These are threats
that we should discuss at the United Nations as we continue working
toward a comprehensive agreement that would end the Israeli-Palestinian
But outside of the UN, there is some good news. Israelís 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. They are recognizing that Israel is a beacon of stability in a
troubled region, and that Israel is at the forefront of innovation,
entrepreneurship, and technological discovery.
It is the UNís 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 that we were -- I think we saw maybe a slightly different tone in the
meeting, but we will have to see how it goes forward.
open it up for any questions you have.
Question: Madam Ambassador, can I ask you about
the meeting today? We heard
the UN envoy say that the "two-state solution"
is "the only way" to reach peace in the Middle East. Now, Iím wondering
how are you going to square that, as you go forward, with what President
Trump said today -- yesterday about there being other possibilities. And
also, on -- on the settlements resolution, do you have anything in mind
to correct that "terrible mistake," as you put that?
Ambassador Haley: Well I think, first of
all, the Administration -- and the United States -- supports a two-state
solution. But what we support more is peace and stability. And by
bringing the two to the table to have them talk through this in a fresh
way -- to say, ďOkay, weíre going to go back to the drawing board; what
can we agree on?Ē -- thatís what the United States wants. We want to
facilitate both the Palestinian Authority and Israelis coming together,
being accountable, and moving forward for peace. And thatís what weíre
going to continue to support.
Question: Madam Ambassador, thank you. This is
[intelligible] with [unintelligible] network. Ambassador, since you are a member of that
Administration, many people -- Iím from Kurdistan region of Iraq and as
you know Kurds are main partner of United States in fight of -- of
terrorism in both Syria and Iraq. They want clarity. What is the
Administrationís policy -- what does Administration want to do in Iraq
and in Syria when it come to the fighting of terrorism and ISIS.
Ambassador Haley: Well I think first we
want to stop the violence. Thatís the biggest thing is stop the
violence, and find a way to bring some stability to the area. But youíre
seeing that the Administration is starting to develop plans and actions.
Itís not just about, ďWhat are the talking points on this area going
to be?Ē Itís, ďWhat are the actions are we going to do to facilitate
peace and stability?Ē And thatís where the focus of the Administration
and the United States is going.
Madam Ambassador, do you have any plan -- do you have any
plan to undo this monthly talk about the Palestinian question and the
three-monthly open debate on it that is on the agenda of the Security
Ambassador Haley: You know, I just put out
to the members of the Security Council to help me understand, when we
have so much going on in the world, why is it that every single month weíre
going to sit down and have a hearing where all they do is obsess over
Israel? Thatís the problem. And so what Iím saying is that we want to
have constructive influence. I think whatís happening is itís now
becoming counteractive to the peace process. When the UN becomes -- comes
into the middle of it, and is more of a divider than a uniter, it is a
cause for concern. I think everyoneís well intentioned. I think they are
trying to find stability. But this obsession every month to continue to
-- to go over this, instead of encouraging the Palestinians and Israelis
to come together to a table, thatís where the focus should be. But we
have a lot of other issues in the world that weíre trying to deal with
-- whether itís ISIS, whether itís North Korea, whether itís all the
instability weíre seeing in other regions, thatís where we need to
One more question.
Question: Thank you very much, Madam Ambassador.
As a quick follow-up on settlements, the President asked the Israelis to
hold back on settlements. Was this something that you raised during the
Council meeting? Was it discussed? Was there any welcome for this? And
secondly, when you arrived here
one of the first things you said was
that the U.S. was going "to have the backs" of its allies; you hoped the
allies had the back of the United States. And for those who didnít, you
were "taking names" and that there would be some kind of
accountability. Are you making a list? And whoís on it?
Ambassador Haley: You want to see my list,
donít you? You know, what Iíll tell you is first of all when it come to
the settlements, we donít that that is the sole reason that we are not
getting peace in this process. What the President has said, and that --
agree on, is expanding settlements at this point is not helpful.
And so thatís basically what weíre saying to both sides -- is, ďOkay,
letís take a pause, and at some point letís both come together
willinglyĒ -- and, you know, wanting to actually see some constructive action
take place. And I think thatís what youíre going to see the President
try and do. And thatís what weíre going to try and do in facilitating. Weíll just, unbiased, bring them to the table and say, ďOkay, weíre
going to do this.Ē What we see at the UN is itís always the focus of the
Palestinian Authority, but itís never been the focus of Israel as well.
And as long we have that bias at the UN it becomes very difficult for us
to do that.
In terms of the "taking names," you can
go back to South Carolina. Thatís exactly how I governed, which was,
ďYou know, you all are in this for the greater good, and thatís what we
hope. But when you tell me youíre going to do something and you donítÖ.Ē
Thatís where you take names. When you see that there is someone that
promises to -- to do something and they donít -- thatís where we take
names. So, there is no special list in my drawer in the desk. It is more
observations and trying to make sure that -- in the past, I think, the previous
Administration had not been very strong when it came to international
issues -- had not spoken out when something was wrong, had not
necessarily really moved to be a part of the peace process.
What youíre seeing with this
Administration is -- youíre going to see a lot of action. Youíre going to
see a lot of participation. And, yes, we are going to take names. If we
see someone that's not doing what theyíre supposed to, weíre going to call
them out. Thatís why called out Russia. And, so weíll continue to do
that as we see other issues come up.
Question: Madam Ambassador, is the U.S. going to
stick to its obligations in -- under
Resolution 181 and
1515, which were
adopted and drafted by the United States? And those resolutions called
for the two-state solution and -- as a base for the peaceful solution in
the Middle East.
Ambassador Haley: Understand that the
United States supports the two-state resolution. Thatís never been
waivered. What weíre saying is, ďOkay, letís not just talk about the old
way of doing things.Ē Come to the table with all the fresh atmosphere of
perspectives that we now have and say, ďOkay, what can we do, knowing
all of the factors, knowing where we sit present day, and how can we
Ambassador Haley: And I said we support
the two-state solution.
Question: Just to clarify, you
you heard from
the Secretary General yesterday, thereís
"no Plan B."
There is only the two-state solution as a path forward. You heard today
his envoy for the Middle East peace process repeat that same
message. In your view, is there a Plan B?
Ambassador Haley: I think
-- Well, I think, first
of all, the two-state solution is what we support. Letís -- I mean
anybody that wants to say the United States doesnít support two-state
solution, that would be an error. We absolutely support a two-state
solution. But, we are thinking out-of-the-box as well, which is: "What
does it take to bring these two sides to the table?" "What do we need have
them agree on?" At the end of the day, the solution to what will bring
peace in the Middle East is going to come from the Israelis and the
Palestinian Authority. The United States is just there to support the
All right? Thank you very much. Thank you.