News / USA

    US Discouraging Palestinian UN Move on Settlements

    Gilo, a Jewish settlement on land Israel captured in 1967 and annexed to its Jerusalem municipality, is seen in this general view (File Photo)
    Gilo, a Jewish settlement on land Israel captured in 1967 and annexed to its Jerusalem municipality, is seen in this general view (File Photo)

    The Obama administration said Tuesday it is actively discouraging an Arab-sponsored move to have Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank condemned and declared illegal by the U.N. Security Council. Such a resolution could be introduced in the council this week.

    Officials here are not saying outright that the United States would veto a resolution on settlements.

    But they insist that such a move is what one official termed "a bad idea" and that the Obama administration is urging Arab diplomats and Security Council members not to move forward on it.

    The proposed resolution, backed by the Palestinians and Arab League, reflects frustration over the stalemate in U.S.-led efforts to get Israel and the Palestinians back into direct negotiations on settling the Middle East conflict.

    U.S. officials argue that unilateral steps - those taken without Israel’s consent - such as a settlement resolution or recognition of Palestinian statehood only make peace efforts more difficult.

    At a news briefing Tuesday, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley said the "best path forward" is to get the parties to negotiate a framework agreement that resolves the final-status issues of the peace process once and for all.

    "We continue to be in conversation with a range of countries on this issue," said  P.J. Crowley. "Our view hasn’t changed. We’ve made that clear in our discussions with the Palestinians and others. We do not think that New York or the U.N. Security Council is the right forum for this issue. And we’ll continue to make that case."

    The United States has also deemed unhelpful the recent recognition of Palestinian statehood by a string of Latin American countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador.

    The Obama administration was able to re-start direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks last September after two-year lapse. But the process broke down after a few weeks with  Israel refusing to extend a ten-month moratorium on most settlement activity.

    Palestinians contend that continued settlement-building is rapidly making a viable state for them impossible.

    The United States in recent years has refrained from calling the settlements illegal.

    But President Obama , in a key policy speech in Cairo in 2009, said the United States "does not accept the legitimacy" of continued settlements, the construction of which he said violates previous agreements, undermines peace efforts, and should stop.

    In another development, the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington raised the Palestinian flag for the first time in a ceremony at its downtown office building Tuesday.

    State Department Spokesman Crowley said the United States had authorized the action several months ago and it did not change the status of the sub-ambassadorial mission.

    The action drew criticism from the new Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

    In a written statement, she called it part of a Palestinian scheme to manipulate international acceptance of statehood while refusing to negotiate with Israel or accept its existence as a democratic Jewish state.

    NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora