18:56 GMT28 October 2020
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    Nikki Haley, who was nominated for her post in January 2017 personally by Donald Trump, will step down as ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year. She said there were no “personal reasons” for the resignation and felt someone else should take over the job after her eight “intense” years as governor and UN envoy.

    Haley was born in Bamberg, South Carolina, into a family of Indian immigrants and her full original name is Nimrata "Nikki" Randhawa.

    In 2011, she became the first female governor of South Carolina and was also at that point the youngest governor in the country and only the second person of Indian descent to manage a US state.

    She made headlines back in 2015 when she removed the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina Capitol. 

    From January 2017, the 46-year old represented the White House at the UN amid several international crises, including efforts to prevent North Korea from persisting in its nuclear program, and talks on the Syrian crisis, which is something Trump has since lauded on multiple occasions. She also criticized Iran after Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord, reached during the Obama administration.

    However, not everything went smoothly in Haley-Trump relations at the time of elections:

    Haley spoke out on behalf of Republicans during the 2016 campaign against Trump’s call to ban Muslims: she urged members of her party to resist "the angriest voices," which was seen as a subtle mockery of Trump.

    Although she ultimately voted for Trump, she had first supported Trump’s rival, Marco Rubio, during the primaries in her home state. After Trump won, she agreed to meet him in person, acknowledging the fact that the president “didn’t do it by celebrating the Republican Party.” 

    In September, in response to an explosive New York Times op-ed written on behalf of “a senior administration official,” Haley penned a column denying her authorship. Although stating she “enthusiastically supports most of” the Trump administration’s decisions and “the direction it is taking the country,” Haley confessed to not agreeing 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," she concluded.

    READ MORE: US Envoy to UN Nikki Haley to Iran After Ahvaz Killings: 'Look in the Mirror'

    Haley stressed she will not mount a Republican challenge to Trump in 2020. Having praised her colleagues in the Trump administration, she said she "looks forward to supporting the president" in his re-election bid and repeatedly thanked him for choosing her to serve in the UN role.

    "I think it's just very important for government officials to know when to step aside," Haley noted.


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