Washington: Infuriated over Palestinian
leaders` drive for statehood, the US on Friday warned them that
they cannot achieve it by passing of a resolution at the
United Nations and insisted that the best way to get it is
through negotiations with Israel.
"The Palestinians will not, and cannot, achieve statehood
through a declaration at the United Nations. It is a
distraction, and it`s counterproductive," White House Press
Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
"That remains our position. We continue to be focused
with great intensity on the need to get Israelis and
Palestinians together again in direct negotiations, because
that is the path towards a two-state solution and Palestinian
statehood," he said.
President Barack Obama, he said, believes that the only
way to resolve the issues between the Palestinians and the
Israelis and to ultimately create a Palestinian state is
through direct negotiations.
US has threatened to veto any Palestinian application for
full membership of the UN or go to the General Assembly for
enhanced observer membership this month.
In San Francisco, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
warned Palestinians that their effort is shortsighted and
cannot succeed, saying the road to peace and two states living
side by side does not go through New York.
"It goes through Jerusalem and Ramallah," she said.
"It is our absolute conviction that we need to get the
parties back into negotiations on a direct face-to-face basis
and that they have to be at that negotiating table working
through the framework that President Obama laid out in May.
That remains our focus. We are absolutely committed to
pursuing that," Hillary said.
"We are working closely with a range of international
partners, and we intend to keep our attention where we think
it needs to be, which is how we can try to convince both sides
to do what must be done in order to bring about a resolution
of the issues between them, and that?s going to be certainly
the core of all of our efforts for the next several days,"
Meanwhile, two US Senators Ben Cardin and Susan Collins
wrote a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas imploring him to return to direct negotiations with
Israel and urging him to avoid actions that would be
counterproductive to a permanent and peaceful settlement of
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"We strongly urge you not to pursue a unilateral
declaration of statehood or recognition of a Palestinian state
at the United Nations later this month. We believe this action
does not further the peace process," they wrote.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the House
Foreign Affairs Committee, said such a move will take them
away from the goal of achieving real, lasting peace and
security between Israel and the Palestinians.
"We need to make it clear, publicly and privately, that
all of our governments will vote `no` if any resolutions come
up at the UN to admit `Palestine` as a Member, to upgrade the
status of the Palestinian observer, or to otherwise recognize
or support Palestinian statehood prior to a final, negotiated
peace agreement," she said.