Thursday, April 21, 2011

US rejects Palestinian bid to seek UN recognition

U.S. State Department Spokesman
Mark Toner
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States again Tuesday rejected Palestinian plans to seek recognition for an independent state unilaterally from the United Nations without reaching a peace accord with Israel.

"We don't believe it's a good idea, we don't believe it's helpful," said US State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians resumed in September, 2010, but collapsed shortly afterwards when Israel refused to extend a moratorium on settlement building in the occupied territories. Israel has insisted that all issues, including the settlements, should be hammered out in direct talks.

Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas has said that he will seek recognition at the United Nations for an independent state in September.

But the United States, which has shepherded the peace process, continues to insist that only a fully-negotiated agreement with Israel on a "two-state solution" can lead to a durable peace between the two countries.

"We continue to press both sides to begin talking again in direct negotiations," Toner said.

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