News / Middle East

US Confirms Palestinian Statehood Veto Threat

Palestinians march during the launch of a campaign supporting a bid for Palestinian statehood recognition at the UN, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, September 8, 2011.
Palestinians march during the launch of a campaign supporting a bid for Palestinian statehood recognition at the UN, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, September 8, 2011.

The United States on Thursday confirmed it will veto any bid by the Palestinians to seek statehood recognition in the U.N. Security Council.  Meanwhile, U.S. diplomats continue an effort to reconvene direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and avert a political showdown at the United Nations later this month. 

The veto threat comes as no surprise because the Obama administration has long said that a Palestinian statehood bid -  without Israeli concurrence - would set back hopes for real peace.

Despite the U.S. stance, the Palestinian Authority says it is determined to win an upgrade of international recognition when the new U.N. General Assembly convenes in New York in less than two weeks.

In the absence of action in the Security Council due to a U.S. veto, Palestinians can ask the General Assembly to elevate their U.N. status from an observer to a “non-state member.”

The United States has no veto in the General Assembly and analysts say a Palestinian measure there would likely be approved by a wide majority.

At a news briefing, State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland downplayed the significance of making the U.S. veto threat explicit. “It should not come as a shock to anyone in this room that the U.S. opposes a move in New York by the Palestinians to establish a state that can only be achieved through negotiations.  So yes, if something comes to a vote in the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. will veto,” she said.

In a Middle East policy speech in May, President Obama for the first time called for a two-state Middle East settlement based on Israel’s pre-1967 borders, which is in line with long-held Palestinian demands.  But he also said symbolic Palestinian actions at the United Nations will not create an independent state and that efforts to “delegitimize” Israel will end in failure.

 Map of Israeli pre-1967 borders

The State Department's Victoria Nuland says the United States will continue working, until the U.N. meetings and beyond, to revive the U.S.-sponsored direct peace talks that broke off last year.

“We are seeking a result in the region that is consensual between the two parties, that is lasting, that is durable, that leads to security," said the spokeswoman. "Taking action in New York is going to make that more difficult.  You’re going to end up in a situation where you have the two parties on opposite sides in New York.  That is not productive.  It’s not going to help the environment, the conditions for peace.”

U.S. envoys Dennis Ross and David Hale were traveling back to Washington on Thursday after what were depicted as last-ditch talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials on resuming the dialogue.

Israel says it would return to the talks, but Palestinians say they will not unless Israel ends settlement building and accepts the 1967 borders as a basis for an accord.

Palestinians say U.N. action does not jeopardize direct negotiations, but Israeli officials say it could provoke violent unrest and scuttle the peace process.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid