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Irwin Cotler: US Congress Likely to Cut Aid to PA

Former Canadian justice minister says Congress will likely cut all or part of the aid to PA if it declares statehood unilaterally.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/14/2011, 9:21 PM

The United States Congress will likely adopt sanctions to reduce or cancel assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it goes ahead with a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI), although the Obama Administration has cautioned against such a move, estimates former Canadian justice minister and attorney general Irwin Cotler.

Speaking at the the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism's 11th International Conference at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Cotler assessed that despite sustained efforts by the Americans and others, PA head Mahmoud Abbas is determined to go to the UN and ask for recognition.

The course he will choose is not entirely clear, he added. Abbas is likely to seek a UN General Assembly resolution which would affirm a Palestinian state within the 1949 Armistice borders – not a Security Council resolution.

The US, Canada and European may will succeed in bringing about a compromise solution, Cotler said, but the role of the Palestinian street remains unknown, as does the influence of Erdogan's announcement that he will lead the advocacy for a UDI and help to mobilize the Arab and Palestinian street in that regard.