The United States called on European governments to oppose the
Palestinian Authority's bid to upgrade its status to "non-member state"
at the UN, according to Britain's Guardian newspaper, citing a US memorandum.
reported that the US communique described Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas's UN move as "extremely counterproductive," and warned of
"significant negative consequences" for the PA, including financial
The memorandum purportedly also reiterated Washington's
long-standing policy that Palestinian statehood "can only be achieved
via direct negotiations with the Israelis," and thus urged EU
governments "to support efforts" to block the bid.
claimed that the message was communicated by US diplomats to
representatives of European governments during last week's UN General Assembly.
The US state department declined to comment on the matter.
The report followed Monday's announcement by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that the PA had started consultations with Arab countries over the phrasing of a request for UN non-member state status.
to US opposition to the move, Erekat insisted that the unilateral UN
strategy would not harm the peace process, but rather would compliment
it, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
“[Israel has] always
tried and is still trying to change the rules of the peace process and
limit the PA’s role to security and economic tasks only,” Ma’an quoted
Erekat as saying.
Erekat told China’s Xinhua state news agency
via telephone that US President Barack Obama did not ask the
Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel, hinting that the
Palestinian were advancing their cause at the UN while the US remains
uninterested in backing talks.
“The United States stance toward
the resumption of peace negotiations with Israel hasn’t changed,” Erekat
said. “The United States wants the unconditioned resumption of the
The Palestinians have continued to insist upon a
moratorium on settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as
a precondition to resuming talks. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has
declared his willingness to resume the diplomatic process immediately
One Israeli government official said that
if the PA follows through with its threat to unilaterally ask for
statehood recognition in the UN General Assembly it would be a “very
negative development that would not in any way further the real
establishment of a Palestinian state.” Such a state, the official said,
could only be achieved through negotiations with Israel.