Abbas tells US he supports anti-settlement vote

February 18, 2011 17:25

PA president tells Clinton he turns down proposal aimed at persuading Palestinians to drop UN Security Council vote against settlements.

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Abbas 521. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas turned down a US proposal on Friday aimed at persuading the Palestinians to drop support for a UN Security Council vote against settlement construction in the West Bank.

Abbas passed on the information during a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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"There is no change in the Palestinian and Arab position about the proposal presented to the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlement on Palestinian land," a statement by Abbas' office read.

On Thursday,the US and the Palestinian Authority appeared to be on a collision course regarding PA insistence – over US objections – on bringing the resolution.

Following a lengthy phone call between US President Barack Obama and Abbas, the PA leader called an emergency meeting of the PLO and Fatah leaderships in Ramallah, Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, announced.

Sources in Ramallah said the phone conversation had dealt with the PA’s plan to seek a Security Council resolution condemning construction in the settlements.

Abbas rejected Washington’s demand not to take the matter to a vote in the council, they said.

Obama made it clear to Abbas that the US would veto such a resolution, so as not to jeopardize efforts to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the sources said.

A week ago, US Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Security Council was not the right place to address these issues.

Herb Keinon, Khaled Abu Toameh and Jordana Horn contributed to this report

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