New U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley in her first visit to the United Nations put U.S. allies on notice: “For those that don’t have our back, we’re taking names.”
After making made the remarks to reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York, the new U.S. envoy to the international organization did not take questions about what exactly she meant, saying only, “We will make points to respond to that accordingly.”
“This is a time of strength, this is a time of action, this is a time of getting things done,” Haley added.
Her remarks came three days after her nomination to represent the U.S. at the United Nations was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and two days after her visit to President Donald Trump at the White House.
A senior administration official confirmed to ABC News earlier this week that the president is considering executive action that could cut U.S. funding to the United Nations as well as U.S. participation in international treaties.
“This administration is prepared and ready to go in, to have me go in, look at the U.N., and everything that’s working we’re going to make it better. Everything that’s not working, we’re going to try and fix. And anything that seems to be obsolete and not necessary, we’re going to do away with,” Haley said today. “But this is a time of fresh eyes, new strength, new vision, and a great day at the US UN.”
In testimony last week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the former South Carolina governor outlined a forceful policy for countering Russian aggression, joining several of Trump’s nominees for Cabinet posts who advocate a more confrontational approach to Russia than Trump has personally recommended.
“I don’t think we can trust them,” Haley said of Russian leaders. “Russia is trying to show their muscle right now, it is what they do.”
She said she believes Russia committed war crimes in Syria when it allegedly bombed hospitals in Aleppo.
“We need to let them know we are not OK with what happened in Ukraine, in Crimea and what is happening in Syria, but we’re also going to tell them that we do need their help with ISIS and with some other threats that we all share,” she exclaimed.
In that hearing, Haley was also asked about the U.N. Security Council resolution that called for an end to Israeli settlements. In a break with tradition, the U.S. abstained from the vote, angering many Republicans and Israelis.
Trump lashed out on Twitter, calling the United Nations a “club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.” He has said the U.N. is not a friend of Israel.
The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 26 Aralık 2016
Haley also blasted the U.N. for the resolution, which the Obama administration chose not to veto, and said that “nowhere has the U.N.’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel. … Last month’s passage of U.N. Resolution 2334 was a terrible mistake, making a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians harder to achieve.”
The Obama administration has argued that more Israeli settlements impede the chances of a two-state solution.
“Our goal, with the administration, is to show value at the U.N.,” Haley said today. “And the way to show our value is to show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies, and make sure that our allies have our back as well.”