The Trump administration in Washington has objected to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ choice of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyed as the new UN special envoy to Libya on grounds that he is Palestinian. “For too long the UN has been unfairly biased in favour of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel,” complained Nikki Haley, the new US ambassador to the UN appointed by President Donald Trump. It is not clear if the objection will scupper Fayyad’s appointment. Fayyad would be Guterres’ personal representative but his appointment as Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) requires Security Council approval. The US could veto it. A spokesman for Guterres said today that choosing Fayyad was “solely based on Mr Fayyad’s recognised personal qualities and his competence for that position”.