By Kamila Aliyeva
The U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering the possibility to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council, Politico magazine reported.
The Trump administration is considering pulling the United States out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, a body that has been accused of being biased against Israel and criticized for including abusive governments, according to two sources in regular contact with former and current U.S. officials.
No immediate withdrawal is expected ahead of the council’s next session, which starts on February 27, the sources of Politico assured but stressed that the U.S. State Department chief Rex Tillerson had been increasingly skeptical of the UN body.
"There’s been a series of requests coming from the secretary of state's office that suggests that he is questioning the value of the U.S. belonging to the Human Rights Council," the department’s former official familiar with the matter told Politico.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner did not confirm whether the issue was being considered and would only say that "our delegation will be fully involved in the work of the HRC session which starts on Monday."
Some of the concerns are that the council has been targeting Israel, a key U.S. ally, over its treatment of the Palestinian minority, including a perceived lenient jail term for an Israeli soldier who had killed an incapacitated Palestinian attacker. Washington has also been critical of the UN body for giving seats to China and Saudi Arabia.
In any case, even talks on abandoning the council are likely to alarm international activists which are already worried that the United States will take a lower profile on global human rights issues under President Donald Trump.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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