Tunisia fires UN envoy over draft response to US peace plan

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's ambassador to the U.N. has been abruptly called home and fired for lack of consultation on a Security Council resolution he helped draft responding to the U.S. Middle East peace initiative, authorities said Friday.

Moncef Baati was faulted for an “absence of coordination and consultation” with the foreign ministry and with representatives of Arab and Islamic countries at the United Nations, the official TAP news agency quoted the Tunisian president's office as saying.

Baati is a career diplomat who came out of retirement to take the U.N. post in September,

The U.S. plan would allow Israel to annex all its settlements as well as the strategic Jordan Valley. The Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — territories seized by Israel in the 1967 war.

Baati's dismissal raised questions as to whether the draft resolution had gone too far in countering the U.S., a long-time ally of Tunisia — even though the Tunisian president lambasted the peace plan just a week ago as “the injustice of the century.”