UNITED NATIONS - The Palestinian bid to upgrade its UN status to a sovereign country would jeopardize the peace process with Israel and make it difficult to get the two sides to return to talks on a two-state solution, the United States said on Monday.

Having failed last year to win recognition of full statehood at the United Nations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said last month he would seek a less-ambitious status upgrade at the world body to make it a "non-member state" like the Vatican.

The president of the 193-member UN General Assembly, Vuk Jeremic, has said the issue will likely be debated in mid-November, after the US election. Washington argues a Palestinian state can only be created through direct talks.

"Unilateral actions, including initiatives to grant Palestinians non-member state observer status at the United Nations, would only jeopardize the peace process and complicate efforts to return the parties to direct negotiations," the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, told the UN Security Council during a debate on the Middle East situation.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger