The New US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, has downplayed the significance of the Palestinian plan to approach the UN in September to gain recognition of an independent Palestinian state. He stressed that the situation in Palestine would stay as it is and would not be affected by "unilateral" Palestinian steps.
Following a ceremony in which Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, accepted Shapiro's credentials, the new US envoy asserted that Palestinians realised that approaching the UN in a bid for recognition in September would not change reality, and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could only be solved through negotiations.
Shapiro also stated that the US administration continues to exert efforts toward finding a formula that makes the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations possible without resorting to unilateral steps opposed by Washington.
Shapiro, who is Jewish, celebrated the strong ties between US President, Barack Obama, and Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, saying, "Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have strong working ties and share a trust in one another."