Kerry says US has made 'no determinations' on Palestinian statehood as UN bid on tap

The United States, which has a veto at the Security Council, has already indicated it finds the timeline in the Palestinian proposal unacceptable.

By REUTERS
December 17, 2014 06:30
2 minute read.
Netanyahu Kerry

Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome. . (photo credit: PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE)

 
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US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday the United States had made "no determinations" about any possible UN Security Council resolutions to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he had sought reassurances from Kerry that Washington would block separate efforts by Palestinians and Europeans to set a time frame for a Palestinian statehood.

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After meeting Netanyahu in Rome, Kerry held talks with European counterparts from France, Britain and Germany in Paris, and later discussed the moves with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and officials from the Arab League in London.

A senior State Department official said the London meetings "agreed to continue their consultations going forward."

The Palestinian leadership agreed on Sunday to present a draft resolution with the help of Jordan to the 15-member Security Council on Wednesday, calling for Israeli occupation of Palestinian land to end by November 2016.

The United States, which has a veto at the Security Council, has already indicated it finds the timeline in the Palestinian proposal unacceptable.

The Palestinians need nine of the 15 votes in the Security Council to pass the resolution, which would force the United States to decide whether or not to veto it.



"We've made no determinations about language, approaches, specific resolutions, any of that," Kerry told a news conference 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 no matter what pronouncements are made publicly about it."

He said they were mindful they had to "carefully calibrate" any steps that were taken and it was "imperative to lower the temperature" in the region to find a path for peace wanted by both Israelis and Palestinians.

"The status quo is unsustainable for both parties," he said. "Right now what we are trying to do is have a constructive conversation with everybody to find the best way to go forward.

The increasing pressure by the Palestinians and Europeans comes as Israel prepares for elections in March. Kerry said it was important not to interfere in the election.

"It's very difficult and complicated because we believe very deeply that nobody should somehow interfere or do something that might be perceived of as interfering in the course of that election," he said. "We want to find the most constructive way of doing something that therefore will not have unintended consequences, but also can stem the violence."

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