Watch: Ambassador Nikki Haley says US withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council due to anti-Israel bias

The U.S. is withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley spoke at the State Department.

“This step is not a retreat. We did not make this decision lightly. We were well aware of the flaws in the Council. We could have withdrawn immediately,” Haley said.

“Being a member of this council is a privilege, and no country who is a human rights violator should be allowed a seat at the table,” she said.

“Israel thanks President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley for their courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council”, the Prime Minister Office said in a statement

“For years, the UNHRC has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.

Instead of dealing with regimes that systematically violate human rights, the UNHRC obsessively focuses on Israel, the one genuine democracy in the Middle East.

The US decision to leave this prejudiced body is an unequivocal statement that enough is enough.

Israel welcomes the American announcement”.

The United States is half-way through a three-year term on the main UN rights body and had long threatened to quit if it was not reformed, accusing the 47-member Geneva-based body of being anti-Israel”.

Last week activists and diplomats said talks with the United States on reforms had failed to meet Washington’s demands, suggesting that the Trump administration would quit.

Haley said a year ago that Washington was reviewing its membership of the Human Rights Council, and called for reform and elimination of a “chronic anti-Israel bias.”