U.S. Expected to Withdraw From UN’s Human Rights Council

Palestinian spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh announces the latest update on the health of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat

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It also extends a broader Trump administration pattern of stepping back from worldwide agreements and forums under the president's "America First" policy.

The decision comes a day after the U.N. human rights chief slammed the administration's policy of separating migrant parents from their children after they enter the United States at the Mexican border, calling it "unconscionable" and akin to child abuse.

Washington's withdrawal would be the latest USA rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. Libya was kicked out seven years ago.

Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, who lead Middle East policy for the White House, are slated to consult with regional leaders next week about the peace plan the two have been working on since President Donald Trump took office.

The Jewish Leadership Council tweeted: "We welcome the Foreign Secretary's statement at the Human Rights Council that its permanent agenda item on Israel is "disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace". In addition to concerns about agenda items singling out Israel, the USA also wanted more stringent criteria for membership and the ability to kick countries that have egregious human rights records off the council.

She denounced the council as a "forum for politics, hypocrisy and evasion" and accused member countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, China, Burundi and Saudi Arabia of failing to fulfill their duties to "uphold the highest standards" of human rights, while emphasizing what she said was the council's anti-Israel bias.

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Earlier this month, the U.N. General Assembly approved a Palestinian-backed resolution blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza.

The United States is midway through a three-year term on the council, whose objective is to denounce and investigate human rights abuses. The Obama administration sought a seat only in 2009 in an effort to showcase how human rights were an important aspect of USA foreign policy.

"The United States is looking very carefully at this council and our participation in it", she told council members.

Peace proposals that ignore "the resolutions of the Arab summits, resolutions of the UN Security Council, and global legitimacy, primarily the approval of the Palestinian people and the president's signature, will be doomed to failure", Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement on Saturday.

A pullout could be largely symbolic: The United States' current term on the council ends next year, when it could revert to the observer status held by other countries that are not members.

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