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Haley became a popular UN diplomat despite Trump policies

AP  |  United Nations 

came to her job as the top US at the with no foreign policy experience, but in less than two years she made many friends - even among from countries at odds with the Trump administration's policies.

Tuesday's sudden announcement that she was leaving by the end of the year ricocheted through like a lightning bolt, with many expressing shock, and some sadness and dismay.

"It was a surprise, not a very pleasant one for me personally," said Russia's U.N. Vassily Nebenzia, whose country has clashed with US positions including on Syria, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The on the powerful who worked closely with Haley praised her - a testament to her skills and success as a - though many of their countries, including America's traditional allies, have serious issues with her government's foreign policy.

When Haley arrived at the UN on Jan 27, 2017, she was the former of and a novice at international affairs but she wasted no time in announcing a new way the US was going to do business.

The Trump administration's goal was to show US strength, speak out, and defend its allies - and as for countries opposing America, "we're taking names" and will respond accordingly, she said.

Haley has kept to that goal, but she has also honed her diplomatic skills, which were recognized by half a dozen members on the 15-nation as they headed into a closed meeting Tuesday afternoon on in

Nebenzia said he and Haley have "good working and personal relations despite all the differences that we were and are having." "She's a charismatic personality," he said. "She was a friend to all of us, and ... beyond the doors of the we as a group were very friendly."

Bolivia's U.N. said the Security Council "is like a family - sometimes a dysfunctional family - but nevertheless we care about each other and I really like Nikki very much."

The good personal relations, however, could never mask the sharp differences over a host of issues ranging from US policy toward to from the nuclear deal, the climate agreement and the Washington's decisions to halt to funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and to move the US embassy in to also upset some council members.

Llorentty Soliz stressed the separation, echoing Bolivian Evo Morales, who launched a blistering critique of US policy toward Iran, the Mideast and Trump's immigration policies at a Security Council meeting the American presided over on Sept. 26 during the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders.

Sweden's UN said "there are issues that relate to the UN where we don't always see eye to eye, but with Nikki there has always been a very close relationship, respectful and very frank." While Haley's speeches in the council can sometimes "be very strong," he said, council members were often invited to her apartment afterward.

France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre, who met Haley when she was of and he was ambassador to Washington, said "even though we didn't agree on everything, we had established a particularly close and constructive working relationship based on trust." "is one of the most talented, most authentic officials that I have ever met," he said.

At a event, seated near Trump in the Oval Office, Haley told reporters that her six years as followed by nearly two years at the UN has been an "intense time, and I'm a believer in term limits."

"I have given everything I've got these last eight years," she said. "I think you have to be selfless enough to know when to step aside and allow someone else to do the job." Trump told her: "Hopefully, you'll be coming back at some point." The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley, who is 46 and not personally wealthy, hinted in her resignation letter to Trump that she is headed to the private sector.

She said that as a Trump would appreciate "my sense that returning from government to the private sector is not a step down but a step up." As for a replacement, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One he was considering five candidates and a successor would be named in two to three weeks - or maybe sooner. Among those under consideration, Trump said, is former

Trump told reporters he heard his daughter Ivanka Trump's name discussed for the post, but said if he selected her he'd be accused of nepotism, and she later ruled herself out in a tweet.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, October 10 2018. 15:50 IST