Prosor urges PA to resume direct talks

Conflict at UN would be detrimental to both sides, says Israel’s envoy; Prosor says back-channel talks conducted by Blair "making progress," have not succeeded in averting Palestinian bid.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
August 17, 2011 05:11
2 minute read.
Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor

Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor 311. (photo credit: Shahar Azran)

NEW YORK – Israel hopes that the Palestinians will back down from their bid to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations on September 20, said Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists at his office in Manhattan, Prosor reiterated Israel’s argument that a confrontation at the UN would be detrimental to both sides – urging the Palestinian Authority to resume direct talks.

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“[The Palestinians] have climbed on a tree and the higher they climb the higher they request a ladder,” he said. “What is going to happen in the end is that they will fall from the tree – but they won’t just hurt themselves, they will [hurt] everyone else in the vicinity.”

Moreover, he said, Palestinian efforts to become the 194th member state of the UN would likely fail as the US has said it would use its veto at the Security Council.

“The United States has articulated their position that they would veto such a resolution at the Security Council. So if that is the case, there is no way the Palestinians will become a new member of the United Nations,” he said. “Then there is the General Assembly, a quest on the Palestinian side to upgrade their position...

That upgrade will not change anything, except in the United Nations itself.”



Last week Ramallah officially announced it would seek recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state at the opening of the 66th session of the UN next month.

“[Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas will personally present the request to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,” a Palestinian spokesman was quoted as saying by AFP.

“[Abbas] will insist on this historic initiative, and Ban Ki-moon will present the request to the Security Council.”

Prosor said on Tuesday that he hoped back-channel talks being conducted by former British prime minister Tony Blair might avert the much-anticipated showdown.

“Blair is making progress [with talks with the Palestinians],” he said. “[But] if by the definition of progress you mean success, then he has not yet.”

Asked if anything good might come of the Palestinian bid for statehood and the frenzied diplomatic activity it has provoked, the Israeli ambassador gave a short answer: “No.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian mission to the UN declined to comment.

Prosor also commented on the so-called Durban III gathering, a continuation of the United Nations conference on human rights held in South Africa in 2001, which was condemned by Israel and the US for its harsh focus on Israel.

Prosor said the upcoming event set to take place at the UN on September 21 was “anti-Semitic and racist” and called on nations to join the boycott declared by the US, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands.


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