October 2, 2012 - 11:59 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The United States has warned European governments against supporting a Palestinian bid for enhanced status at the United Nations, saying such a move "would be extremely counterproductive" and threatening "significant negative consequences" for the Palestinian Authority, including financial sanctions.
The Guardian reports that a U.S. memorandum, seen it, said Palestinian statehood "can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis" and urged European governments "to support [American] efforts" to block the bid. The message was communicated by officials to representatives of European governments at the UN general assembly (UNGA) in New York last week.
Palestinian officials accused the U.S. of exerting "tremendous pressure" on European governments to oppose their bid for upgraded "non-member state" status at the UNGA.
The Palestinians will wait until after the U.S. presidential election in early November before proceeding with their bid for upgraded status. However, they insist they will press for a vote by the end of the year and are confident of winning a comfortable majority among the UN's 193 countries. The U.S. has no veto at the general assembly.
The memorandum – described by one diplomatic source as "private correspondence" – said the U.S. was continuing to work for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and urged both parties "to avoid provocative one-sided actions that could undermine trust or otherwise distract from the pursuit of peace".
A Palestinian resolution on non-member state status "would have significant negative consequences, for the peace process itself, for the UN system, as well as our ability to maintain our significant financial support for the Palestinian Authority".
One European diplomat said that, until recently, U.S. officials believed a "diplomatic ceasefire" was in force and that the Palestinians would not pursue the statehood issue at the general assembly. But pressure from street protests in the West Bank in recent weeks had stiffened Abbas's resolve, and the current consensus among diplomats was that the Palestinians were determined to press ahead, The Guardian reports.