Clinton: Path to Palestine Doesn't Go Through New York
The only path towards a Palestinian state is through direct negotiations, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized on Wednesday, according to AFP.
"I have said many times that the path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York," Clinton told reporters, reiterating U.S. opposition to the Palestinian Authority’s bid to upgrade its UN status.
"We have made very clear to the Palestinian leadership that we oppose Palestinian efforts to upgrade their status at the UN outside of the framework" of direct negotiations, said Clinton.
She warned that no matter what happened on Thursday at the United Nations "it will not produce the outcome" that everyone desires.
"The only way to get a lasting solution is to commence direct negotiations," Clinton stressed.
"And we need an environment conducive to that and we urged both parties to refrain from actions that might, in any way, make a return to meaningful negotiations that focus on getting to a resolution more difficult," she added.
The United States earlier on Wednesday pressed PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas not to seek elevated UN status, in a last-ditch bid to avert a damaging showdown at the United Nations.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Middle East envoy David Hale met with Abbas at his hotel but failed to get him to withdraw his resolution or make amendments, officials told AFP.
President Barack Obama has personally asked Abbas to withdraw the bid and received an unequivocal no from the PA Chairman.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reaffirmed that the United States will vote against the PA motion if the vote goes ahead as planned on Thursday.
Nuland warned "that no one should be under any illusion that this resolution is going to produce the results that the Palestinians claim to seek, namely to have their own state, living in peace next to Israel."
Washington has told Abbas he risks losing around $200 million in development aid which is currently blocked in the U.S. Congress.
Despite Washington’s opposition, the proposal is expected to pass with an overwhelming majority. France announced it would vote in favor of the bid, and Spain, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland also said they would do so.
Britain announced, however, that it would abstain unless the PA committed not to seek an International Criminal Court case against Israel and pledged an immediate return to negotiations with Israel. Germany said it would not support the resolution, but left open whether it would abstain or oppose the bid.