Washington, DC – Nikki Haley, the first Indo-American to hold the post of US ambassador at the United Nations is quitting her job.
The fiery former governor of South Carolina has been at her job for less than two years after being appointed by the Trump administration. She was admired and outspoken – mostly echoing the Trump administration rhetoric.
Nimrata ‘Nikki’ – maiden name – was born to Ajit Singh Randhawa and Raj Kaur Randhawa in Bamberg, South Carolina. Her parents were immigrants from Amritsar district in Punjab.
While there is extensive speculation for why she’s quitting, she cited her desire to be a private citizen – taking a break from years of political participation.
In a joint press conference with Trump she said her service for the US at the UN had been an honour of a lifetime.
“They can’t all like you. But they do; they really like her. And I think, maybe more importantly, they respect her,” said Trump about his most prominent international appointee.
“So, Nikki, I just wanted to tell you that we will miss you. We’ll be speaking all the time, but we will miss you nevertheless. And you have done a fantastic job. And I want to thank you very much,” said Trump
“Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you,” Haley responded.
“Well, I want to say — first of all, I want to thank the President for just, you know, allowing us to come out and talk to you this way.
“It has been an honor of a lifetime. You know, I said I am such a lucky girl to have been able to lead the state that raised me, and to serve a country I love so very much. It has really been a blessing, and I want to thank you for that.”
“But I’m most excited — look at the two years. Look at what has happened in two years with the United States on foreign policy. Now, the United States is respected.
“Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do. They know that if we say we’re going to do something, we follow it through. And the President proved that — whether it was with the chemical weapons in Syria; whether it’s with NATO — saying that other countries have to pay their share; I mean, whether it’s the trade deals, which has been amazing. They get that the President means business, and they follow through with that.”
“But then if you look at just these two years at the U.N., we cut $1.3 billion in the U.N.’s budget. We’ve made it stronger. We’ve made it more efficient.
“South Sudan — we got an arms embargo, which was a long time coming.”
“Three North Korean sanctions packages, which were the largest in a generation, done in a way that we could really work towards denuclearizing North Korea,” she added.
“The Iran deal — bringing attention to the world that every country needs to understand you can’t overlook all of the bad things they’re doing; you have to see them for the threat that they are.”
“I think you look at the anti-Israel bias, and the strength and courage that the President showed in moving the embassy, and showing the rest of the world we will put our embassy where we want to put our embassy.
“You know, all of those things have made a huge difference in the U.S. standing. But I can tell you that it’s — the U.S. is strong again. And the U.S. is strong in a way that should make all Americans very proud.”
“And I do want to say that it’s not just the President I want to thank. The family in general — the First Lady has been nothing but very, very kind to me.
“I can’t say enough good things about Jared and Ivanka. Jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands. I mean, to re-do the NAFTA deal the way he did. What I’ve done working with him on the Middle East Peace Plan — it is so unbelievably well done.
“And Ivanka has been just a great friend. And they do a lot of things behind the scenes that I wish more people knew about because we’re a better country because they’re in this administration.”
“I also just have to say, certainly, thank you to my family. Michael is a saint. And my two little ones, I adore them,” she said about her family.
“And so, with that, I’m not leaving until the end of the year. My goal is that we make sure that everything is in good place, and — for the next ambassador to come in. But it’s a great day in the United States. And I’m proud to have been part of a team.
“Now, I don’t have anything set on where I’m going to go. I think that the main thing was — I was Governor for six years, and we dealt with the Hurricane, a thousand-year flood, a church shooting, a school shooting. There was a lot. And then, to come in and do two years of Russia and Iran and North Korea — it’s been eight years of intense time, and I’m a believer in term limits.”
“I think you have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else to do the job. So, thank you, Mr. President —”
“Thank you, Nikki. I’m so proud of you,” Trump responded.
“it’s been an honor of a lifetime. And I will say this: For all of you that are going to ask about 2020; no, I’m not running for 2020. I can promise you what I’ll be doing is campaigning for this one. So, I look forward to supporting the President in the next election.”