Obama Calls Abbas, Urges Him to Stop Vote on Israeli Settlements
President Obama placed a call to Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, on Thursday urging him to halt the impending UN resolution vote that would condemn Israeli settlements. Abbas and other Arab leaders would like the vote to take place on Friday.
The United States says that it will use its veto should the vote go through, marking the first time this action has been taken since Obama took office. According to Haaretz, the US is not the only member of the Secrurity Council that opposes Friday’s resolution. A senior diplomat told Haaretz that 5 permanent members have expressed reservations over the planned vote. Earlier reports stated that 14 permanent members, including Britain and France, supported the resolution and that the US would be the only country using its veto.
The resolution itself is relatively moderate in tone and essentially echoes US official position on Israeli settlements. “Israeli settlements established in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”
Obama and other US officials fear that even this mild condemnation may put further barriers in the way of the halted peace talks, and are eager to proceed with caution.
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