News / Middle East

    Diplomats Discuss Possible Palestinian Plans for Recognition

    US State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (undated photo)
    US State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (undated photo)

    Ahead of this month's U.N. General Assembly session, diplomats in various capitals are discussing a possible Palestinian push for recognition at the United Nations.  

    U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says that Washington does not believe a stable, secure Palestinian state can be created through a bid for statehood at the United Nations.  

    Nuland spoke to reporters at the State Department on Monday amid speculation that Palestinians will press for recognition at the United Nations this month, either in a bid before the Security Council or the General Assembly.  

    "Our view remains that neither course - neither the Security Council nor the General Assembly - is going to lead to the result that they seek, which is to have a stable, secure state living in peace; that they have to do this through negotiations; and that that's the fastest and best course to do so," said Nuland.

    For such a bid to pass in the Security Council, all five permanent members must agree.  The State Department spokeswoman reiterated that the United States will veto a statehood bid if it comes to a vote in that forum.  

    Diplomats also discussed the statehood issue on Monday in Cairo, where Catherine Ashton, the European Union's Foreign Policy High Representative, met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr.

    Ashton said that the European Union has not yet formulated its position on a possible Palestinian bid for non-member status though the General Assembly.  Such a bid would require a two-thirds majority to pass.   

    "There is no resolution on the table yet, so there is no position," said Ashton. "What we are very clear about from the European Union is that the way forward is negotiations.  We want to see a just and fair settlement.  We want to see the people of Palestine and the people of Israel living side by side in peace and security."

    The Arab League's Secretary-General, Nabil Elaraby, says the Arab League wants all countries to recognize Palestine.

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a proponent of a two-state solution.  He says an independent Palestinian state, alongside Israel, is long overdue, and that he has urged both parties to return to the negotiating table to achieve such an outcome.
    The State Department's Victoria Nuland said U.S. diplomats are talking to Israelis and Palestinians to get them back to negotiations before high-level meetings begin at the General Assembly next week.  

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