US still trying to stop PA’s UN bid 3 days beforehand

Israeli official says US working actively at UN to try and use procedural measures to block PA from bringing to a vote a General Assembly resolution which if approved would upgrade its status to non-member observer state.

November 27, 2012 03:03
2 minute read.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN

PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN 370 (R). (photo credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters)


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The US is continuing its efforts to prevent the Palestinian Authority from bringing a resolution to the UN General Assembly upgrading the its status in that body to a non-member observer state, a senior US official said Monday.

The official’s comments came even as PA President Mahmoud Abbas went to Jordan Monday, from where he is set to travel to New York to submit the Palestinian bid on Thursday.

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“Our message to the Palestinians has not changed,” the senior official said. “We believe that bringing forward a resolution on statehood is unwise, does not help bring them closer to their legitimate aspirations, and will create an environment less positive for negotiations. We are trying to prevent this from happening, don’t want it to happen, and it has not happened yet.”

One Israeli official said that the US was working actively at the UN to try and use procedural measures to block Abbas from even being able to bring the resolution to a vote. He said the US was working as well in various key capitals around the world to convince other countries not to support it.

Although the 27-member EU has not yet decided how it would vote on the resolution, the Israeli official said the majority of EU states would like to see a consensus position, and that if a consensus could be reached, it would likely be to abstain on the matter.

“There is still a concerted effort to reach a consensus,” one official said. “The Europeans love a consensus.”

The EU failed to agree last November when the Palestinians gained statehood admission into UNESCO, with five EU countries voting against the move, 11 supporting and another 11 abstaining.

That Palestinian move led to an automatic halting of US funds to UNESCO, as mandated by US law.

The senior American official said whether the US would have to cut off funding to the UN General Assembly if it adopted the Palestinian resolution depended on “what is in the resolution and what form it takes.”

Congress, he added, “has already said there will be repercussions in our system.”

The official said that the US was “as supportive of a two-state solution as it has ever been, and intends on working on it.”

But, he added, “this step runs counter and makes things harder.”

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