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US insists that UN is not the place to recognise Palestinian state

April 4, 2024 at 12:02 pm

US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller in Washington, United States, on 11 July, 2023 [Celal Güneş/Anadolu Agency]

The US believes that a Palestinian state must be born through direct negotiations and not within the framework of the UN, according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

“That is something that should be done through direct negotiations through the parties, something we are pursuing at this time, and not at the United Nations,” Miller told reporters. He did not clarify whether the US would use its veto against any such proposal. The stance is ironic, given that the occupation state of Israel claims legitimacy through the UN Partition Plan for Palestine adopted in November 1947 as General Assembly Resolution 181.

Miller made his comment in response to questions about the Palestinians renewing their request for full membership of the UN on Tuesday, a process with uncertain results but which they consider necessary in the face of the Israeli attack on Gaza. He stressed that Washington supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. “You’ve seen the secretary [of state, Antony Blinken] engage in very intensive diplomacy over the past few months to try to establish a Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel.”

According to legislation passed by the US Congress in the past, the US must cut off funding to UN agencies that grant full membership to the State of Palestine. The law has been applied selectively, though. The US cut its funding to UNESCO in 2011 and later withdrew from the UN organisation, but President Joe Biden’s administration rejoined, saying it was better to be present.

In this regard, Alternate US Representative to the UN Robert Wood said that recognition of a Palestinian state by the international organisation as a whole would mean funding for the UN system would be cut off, according to US law. “Our hope is that they don’t pursue that, but that’s up to them,” added Wood.

A letter from the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, seen by AFP, was submitted in accordance with the established procedures to the UN Security Council. “Based on the instructions of the Palestinian leadership, I am honoured to request that the UN Security Council reconsider statehood application in April 2024,” wrote Mansour. The PA applied for full membership in 2011 and the Council has not decided on it since then. At the end of 2012, however, Palestine was granted non-member observer state status by the UN.

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