(photo credit: REUTERS/Ali Jarekji)
Russia will vote in favor of declaring a Palestinian State at the United Nations in September, according to Moscow's ambassador to the world body.
RELATED:Netanyahu again calls for talks without conditionsAbbas: Israel’s ‘intransigence’ forcing us to the UN
"We will, of course, be voting for any of the Palestinians' proposals," Vitaly Churkin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency, according to AFP.
"But I must say that we are not pushing them into it. We are saying that 'Whatever you decide to do, we will support you,'" he added.
Russia had previously expressed support for the Palestinian statehood
bid, but had not stated explicitly that it would vote in favor of UN
recognition of a Palestinian State.
Last week the US officially
asked the Palestinian Authority to abandon its plan to ask the UN to
recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.
request was relayed to PA President Mahmoud Abbas by US Middle East
envoy David Hale during a meeting in Ramallah, Palestinian officials
said. The meeting was attended by senior White House official Dennis
Ross and US Consul-General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubenstien.
The officials said that the US envoys did not carry any new proposals for reviving the peace process.
chief negotiator Saeb Erekat quoted the US envoy as saying that the
Quartet members – the US, EU, UN and Russia – were preparing a new
initiative that envisages the establishment of a Palestinian state “on
the basis of the 1967 borders.”
According to Israeli officials,
the idea is that Israel would enter the negotiations using the 1967
lines, with mutually-agreed swaps, as the basis of talks, if the
Palestinians agree that the goal of the negotiations would be two states
– a Palestinian state and a Jewish one.
Israeli officials have
noted that Jerusalem, while not endorsing the 1967 lines, would agree to
language that would say that Israel recognized that this was the
position of the international community.
This idea has been
bouncing around since mid-July, when it was brought to the Quartet, but
not accepted there. While the US supported, and continues to support the
idea, the Russians were opposed to placing recognition of the Jewish
state in the formula, and the Europeans took a middle position on the
Jewish-state issue between the US and Russia.