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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid