Joe Biden and Mahmoud Abbas
Joe Biden and Mahmoud AbbasFlash90

The Biden administration has urged the Palestinian Authority (PA) not to pursue a vote at the UN Security Council on gaining full UN membership, stressing it will likely veto any such move, US and PA sources told Barak Ravid of Axios on Wednesday.

Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Representative of “Palestine” to the United Nations, said late last month that the PA leadership is conducting talks at the highest levels with the aim of demanding full membership of “the State of Palestine” in the United Nations.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas wants to use this move to try to put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back at the center of the international community’s attention and to break the current deadlock in the peace process.

The possible UN bid is also a way for the PA and Abbas to try to win points domestically and get deliverables from the US and the EU.

PA, Israeli and US sources told Axios that several weeks ago, Mansour started quiet consultations in New York with Security Council members over a possible full membership bid.

The Palestinians also discussed the issue with Biden administration officials, who raised strong reservations and said such a move won’t lead anywhere because of the veto, US sources said.

PLO official Hussein al-Sheikh confirmed there were talks with the Biden administration on the issue, but stressed that it is an ongoing discussion and the PA is still trying to convince countries to support it.

A State Department spokesperson said the US is committed to a two-state solution, adding, “The only realistic path to a comprehensive and lasting peace is through direct negotiations between the parties. There are no shortcuts to Palestinian statehood outside direct negotiations with Israel.”

In 2012, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of the “state of Palestine” when it upgraded the PA’s UN observer status to non-member state.

Full membership would amount to international recognition of Palestinian statehood.

The PA previously announced in 2019 it would launch a bid to become a full member of the United Nations.

Two weeks later, however, Mansour announced the PA was dropping its bid to become a full member of the UN, likely due to the fact that US would more than likely have vetoed any Security Council resolution granting the PA full membership of the global body.