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US ambassador: 'Taking names' at UN means calling out wrong

She may be taking names, but U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Thursday she's not keeping a list of America's adversaries in her desk drawer.

President Donald Trump's envoy to the United Nations said her comment last month about "taking names" of nations "that don't have our back" meant that she'll be speaking out.

"When you tell me you're going to do something and you don't, that's where you take names," Haley told reporters after a Security Council meeting. "If we see someone that's not doing what they're supposed to, we're going to call 'em out."

As an example, she noted that she recently condemned Russia as taking "aggressive actions" in eastern Ukraine and warned that U.S. sanctions imposed after Russia's annexation of Crimea will remain until the peninsula is returned to Ukraine. At the time, Haley also noted that the Trump administration is hoping for better relations with Moscow.

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, arrived at the U.N. in January with a tough-talking message that reverberated in a place accustomed to the niceties of diplomacy.

America, she said, aimed "to show our strength," would stand up for its allies and would make sure they did likewise.

"For those that don't have our back, we're taking names," she said then. "We will make a point to respond accordingly."

She reiterated Thursday that the world organization should expect "to see a lot of action" by the new U.S. administration.

The United States is a permanent veto-wielding member of the U.N.'s most powerful body, the Security Council, and pays 22 per cent of the U.N.'s regular budget and over 28 per cent of the costs of its far-flung peacekeeping operations.

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