U.S. slams General Assembly president


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration rebuked the president of the U.N General Assembly for his criticism of the United States and Israel.

On Tuesday, Alejandro Wolff, the second-highest ranking U.S. diplomat at the United Nations, said Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann "has repeatedly abused his position to pursue his personal agenda, and in doing so he diminshes the office and harms the General Assembly," according to the Washington Post. "He is doing the United Nations a disservice by dividing the membership at a time when he should be a unifying force."

U.S. spokesman Mark Kornblau disputed d’Escoto’s claims that there were 1 million civilian deaths in Iraq as a result of the war, saying that the Nicaraguran priest and former Sandinista foreign minister "has his facts wrong and seems like he is lost in some kind of time warp."

The comments came a day after d’Escoto criticized the United States on a trip to Iran for meetings with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian leaders. According to Iranian news reports, d’Escoto defended Iran’s nuclear program as peaceful and said the United States has not cooperated with other countries at the United Nations.

D’Escoto also has accused Israel of "crucifying our Palestinian brothers and sisters" and labeled Israel an "apartheid state." He has called for a boycott of Israel as a reaction to the Jewish state’s incursion into Gaza.

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