US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley indicated in her resignation letter to President Donald Trump that she might be moving to the private sector as she ruled out a 2020 presidential bid and promised to support his re-election.
“It has been an immense honour to serve our country in your Administration. I cannot thank you enough for giving me this opportunity,” 46-year-old Haley said in her resignation letter.
While she publicly announced to resign on Tuesday, the resignation letter is dated October 3.
She said that to give time to Trump to select a replacement, and to give the Senate time to consider his selection, she is prepared to continue to serve until January 2019.
“At that point, I will once again become a private citizen. I expect to continue to speak out from time to time on important public policy matters, but I will surely not be a candidate for any office in 2020.
“As a private citizen, I look forward to supporting your re-election as President, and supporting the policies that will continue to move our great country toward even greater heights,” she said in the letter.
Haley recalled in the letter that when Trump had offered her the position of United States Ambassador to the United Nations in November 2016, she had accepted the offer based on some conditions.
“Those conditions included serving in your Cabinet and on the National Security Council and being free to speak my mind on the issues of the day. You made those commitments and you have absolutely kept them all. For that too, I will always be grateful,” she said.
Listing the “great successes” achieved during her tenure at the UN, Haley said the US passed the toughest sanctions against any country in a generation, pressuring North Korea toward denuclearization.
“We passed an arms embargo on South Sudan that will help reduce violence and hopefully bring peace to that troubled country.
“We stood up for our ally Israel and began to roll back the UN’s relentless bias against her. We reformed UN operations and saved over USD 1.3 billion. We spoke out resolutely against dictatorships in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and yes, Russia,” she said.
Through it all, the US stood strong for American values and interests, always placing America first. “I am proud of our record,” she said.
Noting that she is a strong supporter of term limits, Haley said she has long believed that rotation in office benefits the public.
“Between the UN Ambassadorship and serving in the South Carolina Governorship and General Assembly, I have been in public office for fourteen straight years. As a businessman, I expect you will appreciate my sense that returning from government to the private sector is not a step down but a step up.”
Haley, the senior most Indian-American official in any US administration, emerged as an outspoken and fearless envoy during her tenure as the top American diplomat at the world body.
Acknowledging her policy disagreements with the president in an op-ed in the Washington Post last month, she had said, “I, too, am a senior Trump administration official. I proudly serve in this administration, and I enthusiastically support most of its decisions and the direction it is taking the country. But I don’t agree with the president on everything. When there is disagreement, there is a right way and a wrong way to address it. I pick up the phone and call him or meet with him in person.”
In December, she said that women who had accused Trump of sexual misconduct “should be heard.”
When a White House adviser said Haley had been confused in prematurely announcing more sanctions against Russia, she said simply, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
Haley had just completed a successful month as President of the UN Security Council in September, when the world body hosts its annual high-level UN General Assembly session.
She was born Nimrata Randhawa to Ajit Singh Randhawa and mother Raj Kaur Randhawa, who had emigrated from Punjab to Canada and then to the US in the 1960s.
She had become the first Indian-American to be appointed to a cabinet-level post in any US administration when she was named US Ambassador to the UN.
A rising Republican star, Haley was approved overwhelmingly for the position by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with wide bipartisan support, 96-4.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, in response to Haley’s resignation, thanked her for standing with the truth without fear.
Haley had become known for her tough position on Iran and for being one of the strongest advocate of Israel.
(With inputs from PTI)