Pressure remains on Israel as Kerry declines veto guarantee at UN

The Palestinian Authority has said it plans to submit its UN resolution, possibly as early as this week.

December 16, 2014 17:25
1 minute read.
John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives for a news conference . (photo credit: REUTERS)


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WASHINGTON -- US Secretary of State John Kerry would not guarantee the US will veto unilateral Palestinian actions at the United Nations, speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

"We've made no determinations about language, approaches, specific resolutions, any of that," the secretary told the press in London. "This isn't the time to detail private conversations. or speculate on a UN Security Council resolution that hasn't even been tabled."

Tabled yet or not, Jordan and France have publicly declared their intentions to move forward with resolutions that would set a UN-mandated timeline for Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, without approval or consultation with Jerusalem. The Obama administration, following its predecessors, has long opposed any actions on the Middle East peace process that fail to include the consent of both parties.

The Palestinian Authority has said it plans to submit its own resolution, possibly as early as this week.

While the secretary failed to guarantee a continuation of that policy— current US appropriations law requires the State Department cut funding to the Palestinian Authority if it seeks statehood recognition at the UN outside the peace process— Kerry did say that a solution to the conflict could not be imposed from the outside, but must be agreed upon through negotiation.

That line is consistent with past US policy on the peace process, and suggests Kerry's refusal to guarantee a UN veto may amount to pressure on Israel to return to the negotiating table.

"We now are having a constructive conversation with all of the sides to find the best way to go forward," Kerry said, adding that he hoped to create an atmosphere in which peace talks could be renewed.

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