PLO official: US obsessed with preventing UN state bid

Abed Rabbo claims Washington is showing "disdain" for Arabs by trying to prevent Palestinians from achieving statehood.

By REUTERS
September 7, 2011 13:46
2 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly 311 (B. (photo credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

The United States is showing "disdain" for Arabs by trying to prevent the Palestinians from gaining statehood recognition at the United Nations, a senior Palestinian Liberation Organization official Yasser Abed Rabbo said on Wednesday.

Washington fears the Palestinians' move at the United Nations, expected later this month, could further snarl flagging US efforts to revive Middle East peace talks, which broke down last year following a row over Israeli settlements.

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David Hale, the US Middle East peace envoy, was due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later on Wednesday in the latest American effort to halt the UN manoeuvrings and convince the two sides to return to direct negotiations.

Rabbo said US policy now appeared confined to one point: stopping the Palestinians from embarking on their diplomatic initiative at the United Nations.

"The subject is not settlements, or Palestinian independence or the rights of the Palestinian people, or halting the criminal violations perpetrated by the settlers against the Palestinian people," he said.

"All this is being ignored and the only issue has become the issue of us not going to the United Nations," he told Voice of Palestine radio.

"This shows not only disdain for the Palestinian position, but also scorn for what is happening in the Arab region - a state of revival seeking justice for the Arab peoples and justice for the whole region." Popular uprisings have toppled Arab autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this year.

Arguing that the two-decade old peace process has run out of gas, the Palestinians are seeking an upgrade in their diplomatic standing at the United Nations. They are presenting the move as a step towards leveling the playing field with Israel.

Like Washington, the government has expressed opposition for the move, saying it aims to undermine Israeli legitimacy and that Palestinian statehood can only be achieved through a negotiated deal.

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