04:48 GMT +325 September 2018
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    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers remarks to the press together with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, announcing the U.S.'s withdrawal from the U.N's Human Rights Council at the Department of State in Washington, U.S., June 19, 2018

    'From Now On, US Will Be Treating Human Rights the Way It Sees Fit': MEP

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    The Trump Administration announced on Tuesday that the US was pulling out of the United Nations Human Rights Council following its recent criticism of Israel.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Jiri Mastalka, who represents the Czech Republic in the European Parliament, said that Washington’s move was pretty much anticipated.

    “It’s a faux-pas which may lead to the destruction of an organization that brings together representatives of all countries. [The US] should have negotiated [UN] reform which should be the right way to go, but not to destroy the organization. From now on, the US will be treating human rights the way it deems fit,” Mastalka said.

    READ MORE: Moscow Disagrees with US Claims of UNHRC's Hostility Toward Israel – Lavrov

    He noted that Russia did the right thing when it applied for a seat on the UN’s Human Rights Council.

    “If there is a possibility of Russia joining the organization, I can only welcome that because collective security and collective guarantees of human rights should be a priority for all of us,” he observed.

    Mentioning the widespread notion of Russia allegedly violating human rights, Jiri Mastalka said that before accusing Russia, the accusers should take a look at the human rights situation in their own countries.

    “Look at yourself before you tell someone what is right and what is wrong,” Mastalka said.

    The US has accused the Geneva-based body of being unfriendly towards Israel.

    “This is another and more complicated problem. The US had been looking for a pretext to pull out, this is clear and I won’t event talk about it. This is too simple, the Americans are underestimating us,” the Czech MEP noted.

    When asked if he thinks that Trump is changing the world and the international organization, Jiri Mastalka said that this is exactly what Trump said he would be doing.

    “This is the ‘America First’ principle for you. It’s wrong, but it is the reality we have to live with,” he added.

    On Tuesday, the United States pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling it a "cesspool of political bias."

    Washington’s UN envoy Nikki Haley described the Council as a "hypocritical" body that "makes a mockery of human rights."

    She also mentioned the UN Human Rights Council’s failure to respond to the past year’s human rights abuses in Venezuela and Iran and also accused the body of having a chronic bias against Israel.

    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that the United Nations is disappointed by Washington’s decision to withdraw from the Human Rights Council.

    READ MORE: US Makes Controversial Move by Exiting From UN Human Rights Council

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that the UN regrets the US decision to end its participation in an organization that plays such a vital role in protecting human rights around the world.

    In Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described Washington’s move as a serious blow to the reputation of the US as a defender of human rights, which also demonstrated double standards.

    The views and opinions expressed by Jiri Mastalka are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    Related:

    US Exit From UN Human Rights Council Shows Double Standards - Foreign Ministry
    US Makes Controversial Move by Exiting From UN Human Rights Council
    Tags:
    "America First" principle, US exit, criticism, UN Human Rights Council, Jiri Mastalka, Nikki Haley, Donald Trump, Czech Republic
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