US Meets With Palestinians to Forestall Statehood Bid

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 9:50 am (UTC-5)
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United States envoys are meeting with Palestinian leaders in an attempt to convince them to drop a Palestinian bid for statehood recognition at the United Nations.

Envoy David Hale held talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank on Wednesday after U.S. diplomats met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials on Tuesday.

Reuters news quotes a top aid to Mr. Abbas as saying the U.S. is showing “disdain” for Arabs by trying to prevent Palestinians from pursuing statehood where it will be discussed at this month's meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.

The Obama administration has been trying to get the two sides to resume peace talks, which stalled a year ago. Both the U.S. and Israel oppose the unilateral Palestinian attempt to seek U.N. statehood recognition, saying the move will complicate efforts to reach an agreement.

State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday that U.S. envoys had returned to the region in a bid to get the two sides together.

The U.S.-backed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled a year ago after an Israeli moratorium on settlement building in the West Bank expired. Palestinians oppose construction of land they want as part of a future state.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press quoted a top aide to Mr. Abbas as saying Palestinians would take their statehood bid to the U.N. “regardless of objections or pressure.”