News / Middle East

US Opposes United Nations as Venue for Mideast Diplomacy

Multimedia

Audio

The Obama administration Monday said it opposes shifting the venue of Israel-Palestinian peacemaking to the United Nations. U.S. officials say only direct dialogue and agreement between the parties can produce a two-state settlement of the conflict.

Susan Yackee's interview with David Makovsky, Director of the Washington Institute's "Project on the Middle East Peace Process":

The Obama administration is giving a chilly reception to suggestions that recognition of Palestinian statehood by U.N. or other international bodies might advance prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian accord.

In the face of the current stalemate in U.S.-led Middle East diplomacy, Palestinian and other Arab officials have suggested in recent days that the Palestinians might try to jolt the process by appealing for statehood support from global bodies such as the U.N. or International Court of Justice.

In the latest such comments, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa told the Fox News radio network in Cairo that Arabs are growing impatient with Obama administration diplomacy, and that the "most important alternative is to get back to the United Nations."

At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley was asked to respond to a question by the Arab League chief on Sunday as to "what is wrong with having the U.N. sanction (authorize) or support the peace process?"

"It doesn't solve the conflict. The only way to end the conflict is to resolve the final-status issues. And the only way to resolve the final status issues is through a direct negotiation," he said.  "Unilateral declarations or unilateral actions on one side or the other does not end the conflict, and that is our goal."

Israel has strongly opposed having the U.N. Security Council or General Assembly pronounce on the statehood issue, saying it would violate the 1993 Olso accords that underlie the peace process, and pre-empt negotiations on borders and other key issues.

Spokesman Crowley said a U.N. statehood declaration would be a unilateral move in that it would have the support of only one party in the process. He said a comprehensive settlement, involving all the tracks of the peace process, can be reached only with the consent of all the parties.

U.S.-led direct negotiations stalled in September after the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend a nine-month freeze on most Israeli settlement activity.

Mr. Netanyahu flies to the southern U.S. city of New Orleans later this week for a meeting of U.S. Jewish organizations, and is to meet with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Officials here say there have been contacts with Mr. Netanyahu's office about whether he may be able to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington or elsewhere, after her return from Asia early next week.

They said U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell will meet the Israeli Prime Minister while he is in the United States, perhaps in tandem with Clinton.

Spokesman Crowley meanwhile dismissed published suggestions that Mitchell, a former Senate majority leader and Northern Ireland peace negotiator, might soon leave the Middle East post.

He said there are "monthly rumors" about Mitchell's future but that he is not aware of any plan by him to depart.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs