Wednesday, October 3, 2012

U.S. warned European governments not to support Palestinian state


The United States reportedly warned European governments in a memorandum not to support a Palestinian bid for increased status at the United Nations.

The memorandum, which was seen by the British newspaper the Guardian, called giving the Palestinians enhanced non-member state status "extremely counterproductive" and threatened "significant negative consequences" for the Palestinian Authority, including financial sanctions, the newspaper reported on Oct. 1.

The memorandum, sent by U.S. officials to representatives of European governments at the United Nations General Assembly last week in New York, said that Palestinian statehood "can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis." It called on the European governments to block Palestinian attempts to be recognized as a non-member state.

It also asked each government where it stands on the issue and said the U.S. was interested in knowing whether the European government had been approached by Palestinian representatives.

The Palestinians reportedly will wait until after November's U.S. presidential elections to make their bid in the General Assembly, where the United States does not have a veto, for the new status. They will, however, press for a vote by the end of the year and expect the issue to pass by a "comfortable majority," according to the Guardian.

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