DECEMBER 9, 2022
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US says Palestinian statehood should be done through direct negotiations not UN venue

US says Palestinian statehood should be done through direct negotiations not UN venue

After vowing to block a push by Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations, the United States says the world body is not an appropriate venue to negotiate Palestinian statehood.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters on Wednesday that although Washington does “support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state”, the venue through which the Palestinian statehood should be discussed would not be the UN.

“That is something that should be done through direct negotiations through the parties, something we are pursuing at this time, and not at the United Nations,” he stressed.

Miller, however, did not explicitly say that Washington would veto such a bid if it reaches the UN Security Council.

He also said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had so far tried his best to help establish what he called “security guarantees” for the Israeli regime as part of the groundwork for a Palestinian state.

Miller’s comments came just a day after Robert Wood, the US deputy ambassador to the UN, vowed to block a new attempt by the Palestinians for full membership in the UN.

Supporters of the Palestinians’ request for full membership in the United Nations asked the UN Security Council on Tuesday to revive their application for admission submitted in 2011. 

The fresh bid, addressed to the UNSC president, included the names of 140 countries that have recognized a Palestinian state, including members of the 22-nation Arab League, the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the 120-member Nonaligned Movement.

“Our position has not changed,” Wood stressed, reiterating Washington’s stance which claims that a full UN membership for Palestine should follow a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

 

Back in September 2011, President Mahmoud Abbas failed in his attempt to make Palestine the 194th member of the UN as he could not get the required support of nine of the UNSC’s 15 members.

Even if he had managed to get the required support at the time, the US had promised to veto any UNSC resolution endorsing Palestinian membership.

However, Palestinians succeeded by more than a two-thirds majority in having their status raised from a UN observer to a non-member observer state in November 2012.

Under longstanding legislation by Congress, the US is required to sever financial support for UN agencies that give full membership to a Palestinian state.

Wood stressed that once the UN agrees to make Palestine its new member, “funding would be cut off to the UN system, so we’re bound by US law.”

“Our hope is that they don't pursue that, but that's up to them,” he added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has for decades opposed the Palestinian statehood.

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