Thursday, July 7, 2011

US warns against Palestinian statehood

The Palestinians are seeking to obtain recognition of their state when the UN General Assembly meets in September

Source: Press TV

The United States has warned Palestinians against seeking statehood at the United Nations, describing the move as a 'bad idea.'

US State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Wednesday that Washington's position on “the idea of a UN action in September remains that it is not a good idea, that it is not helpful.”

Nuland made the remarks as chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erakat, met with US President Barack Obama's acting Middle East envoy David Hale and senior US diplomat Dennis Ross on Wednesday, AFP reported.

“We do not see a contradiction between the efforts being exerted to revive the peace process and our bid to go to the UN,” Erakat told reporters after his talks at the US State Department.

Meanwhile, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is a major promoter of Israeli interests in the US Congress, claimed in an offensive rhetoric that resolving issues between Palestinians and the Israeli regime can only come through “direct negotiations” and not by “circumventing the peace process through international parliamentary gimmickry,” referring to Palestinian efforts to gain UN recognition.

Palestinians will attempt to obtain recognition of a sovereign state when the UN General Assembly meets in September. The Washington and the Tel Aviv regime remain opposed to the move.

UN membership requires a recommendation from the Security Council and approval by two-thirds of the General Assembly, or 128 countries.

Over 100 countries endorsed the Palestinian 1988 declaration of independence, but the United States has threatened to veto any vote for the recognition of Palestinian statehood.

However, Palestinian officials say Russia is supporting their bid to seek recognition of a state at the UN this fall.

On Tuesday, a Palestinian delegation met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, where the Palestinian chief, Nabil Shaath, said their plan to go to the UN “will get support from Russia.”

Russia is a member of the Middle East talks “Quartet” along with the United States, the European Union and the UN. The group is set to meet in Washington next week on resumption of the talks.

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