Obama says PA statehood bid is a 'distraction'

US president says US will object strongly to Security Council resolution, but warns Israel not to deny the PA funds which go to self-policing.

Obama 311 reuters (photo credit: Reuters)
Obama 311 reuters
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority's statehood bid in the UN is a "distraction" and will not help solve any of the issues on the ground, US President Barack Obama said Monday night, in comments reported by AFP.
"This issue is only going to be resolved by Israelis and Palestinians agreeing on something," Obama said in a roundtable with Hispanic journalists.
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Obama added that any attempt to pass a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood in the Security Council would be vetoed by the US.
"I have said very publicly that if this were to come to the Security Council we would object very strongly," the president said, but noted that if the Palestinians ask for upgraded observer status in the General Assembly, the US has no more say than any other country.
But the president cautioned Israel against taking retaliatory measures against the Palestinians which would deny funds from the PA and hinder self-policing efforts in the West Bank.
"That would only hurt Israel, not help Israel," he said.
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