Palestinians will not spurn U.S. despite veto: Abbas

RAMALLAH Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:59pm EST

1 of 5. Israeli left-wing protesters hold a banner near the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv February 19, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

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RAMALLAH (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he would continue to cooperate with the United States despite Washington's veto of a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements on occupied land.

"We do not seek to boycott the American administration and it is not in our interest to boycott anyone," Abbas told Palestinian Wafa news agency in Ramallah.

Abbas later told George Mitchell, the U.S. Middle East envoy, in a telephone call that he remained committed to the peace process with Israel, Wafa reported.

The United States on Friday vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution which described Israeli settlements as "illegal" and urged the Jewish state to "immediately and completely" halt all settlement activities.

On Friday, a Palestinian Liberation Organization official said the Palestinian leadership was ready to risk "a diplomatic crisis" with Washington.

The first U.S. veto to be cast by President Barack Obama's administration came after appeals by Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to persuade the Palestinian leader to withdraw the draft or accept a non-binding motion.

The U.S. issued a message on Saturday instructing its diplomatic staff not to travel to certain parts of the West Bank for personal or official purposes over the next three days.

A spokesperson for the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem said the measure was precautionary and that there was no information of any specific threat.

U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed last year after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on West Bank settlements.

The Palestinians say continued building flouts the internationally backed peace plan that will allow them to create a viable, contiguous state on the land, occupied by Israel in a 1967 war.

Israel says this is an excuse for avoiding peace talks and a precondition never demanded before during 17 years of negotiation, which has so far produced no agreement.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta; writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

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Comments (6)
The timing of this resolution is rather interesting. It is as if to divert attention from the uprisings in the Arab countries, so that the public can be outraged about something else than their dictatorial leaders.

Feb 19, 2011 3:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
beancube2101 wrote:
If Israel doesn’t stop settlement projects invading lands, US should simply send a troop into Israel.

Feb 19, 2011 3:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ladygoodman wrote:
USAalltheway: Yes, Native Americans lost an entire continent, which was all they had. But the Palestinians also lost their entire homeland, which was all they had. It doesn’t matter if it was three city blocks – it was all they had, and it was their homeland. This little Cherokee says, “Quit feeling sorry for yourself long enough to identify with people who have suffered and continue to suffer the same indignities, and let’s start from where we are instead of where we wish we were.” You hurt the whole world when you throw up a wall between it and yourself, but no one more than yourself.

Feb 19, 2011 5:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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