Tuesday, November 17, 2009

PA: Obama Would Not Veto UN Recognition Of Palestinian State (Updated)

Aaron Klein writes in WorldNetDaily:
A top Palestinian Authority official told WND that the PA reached an understanding with the Obama administration regarding a Palestinian threat to unilaterally ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state outside of negotiations with Israel.

Ahmed Qurei, former PA prime minister and member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization executive committee, said in an interview that the PA "reached an understanding with important elements within the administration" to possibly bring to the U.N. Security Council a resolution to unilaterally create a Palestinian state.

Asked to which "elements" he was referring, Qurei would only say they were from the Obama administration.

A top PA negotiator, speaking on condition of anonymity, named the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, and National Security Council member Samantha Power as among the Obama administration officials who were involved with the Palestinians' U.N. threat.

Despite widespread assumptions the U.S. would veto any such U.N. Security Council resolution, the PA negotiator said that in initial discussions, the Obama administration did not threaten to veto their conceptual unilateral resolution. [emphasis added]
The question is whether the negotiator is basing his remarks solely on the fact that no immediate mention was made of vetoing the resolution. By the same token, considering the nature of the issue one would have expected a denial or clarification by the administration if the statement was untrue [see update below].

And if recognition by the UN is not in the cards, there is always the Fayyad plan to create a Palestinian state in 2 years:
Separately, the negotiator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the Obama administration is "totally on board" with a plan by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to create a state on the pre-1967 borders within two years.

WND first reported in September that according to a top PA official, the Obama administration has largely adopted the positions of the Palestinian West Bank leadership to create a Palestinian state within two years based on the pre-1967 borders, meaning Israel would retreat from most of the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem.
Naturally, one would hardly expect Israel passively agree to such a far-reaching outcome that would so clearly threaten its security--but according to the PA official, the Obama administration has that covered:
"We understand from the U.S. that the Netanyahu government is not in a position to go against creating a state within two years," the PA official said.

The official claimed the Obama administration was ready to ultimately consider "sanctions" against Israel if the Netanyahu government rejected negotiations leading to a Palestinian state. The official refused to clarify which sanctions he was referring to or whether he was specifically told by the U.S. government it would consider sanctions.

The PA official claimed Obama can make a "headache" for Netanyahu if the Israeli leader does not conduct negotiations leading within two years to a Palestinian state.
In which case, Israel would join Honduras and the Iranian people--among others.

UPDATE: Department Spokesman Ian Kelly was asked about this at yesterday's Daily Press Briefing:
QUESTION: A follow-up on this? The Palestinian Authority has asked the European Union today to back their plan to help the UN Security Council recognize an independent Palestinian state. And Saeb Erekat has said that the Palestinian Authority plan to seek U.S. approval. Will – what’s your position toward this request?

MR. KELLY: Well, I don’t think that – I’m not aware that they have come to us seeking our opinion or our approval. I mean, our position is clear. We support the creation of a Palestinian state that is contiguous and viable. But we think that the best way to achieve that is through negotiations by the two parties. And we understand that people might be frustrated, but we would – we just, as I say, we – it is our very strong belief – we are convinced that this has to be achieved through negotiation between the two parties.

QUESTION: So you will veto any --

MR. KELLY: I’m not going to say we’re going to – I mean, I don’t – I can’t say we’re going to veto something we haven’t seen or hasn’t even been proposed yet.

QUESTION: So you support a Palestinian state, just not yet?

MR. KELLY: We support a Palestinian state that arises as the result of a process between the two parties.

QUESTION: There are a lot of people who think that this kind of a unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians might be the thing that is the jolt that is needed to get the actual negotiation started. You don’t agree with that?

MR. KELLY: I don’t necessarily agree with that, no. I think that the thing we have to do is get the two parties to sit down, and that is what we’re putting all of our efforts behind. That’s what Senator Mitchell is doing in London today, and that’s what we’ve been doing throughout is to try to get them to --

QUESTION: Are you --

MR. KELLY: -- start the negotiations again.
In other words--the US won't commit one way or the other.

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