US urges Palestine to abandon UN bid
A leading negotiator for the Palestinian government said on Monday that the US was putting pressure on Palestine to abandon its bid for UN recognition.
Fatah official Muhammad Ishtayeh said they had been asked to delay the bid until after the US presidential elections in November.
But Ishtayeh told the official Voice of Palestine radio that the process was continuing and they were looking to get a UN General Assembly resolution recognizing the Palestinian state along the 1967 borders.
Palestinian officials have opened talks with Arab states and France to get the process started, he said.
Paris broke from its allies in October when it backed Palestinian efforts to become a full member of UNESCO, the UN's cultural arm and the first UN agency to grant the Palestinians full membership.
The US – Israel's main ally – cut off funds to UNESCO after the vote last year.
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has previously tried to get the UN Security Council to recognize the country, but has faced a US veto threat.
Palestinian leaders are now focused on seeking the lesser status upgrade at the UN General Assembly, where the US does not have veto power.
Ishtayeh denied that America's Arab allies had put pressure on Palestine to abandon the bid, insisting that they were supported diplomatically and financially by the Arab world.
The US claims to be in favor of a Palestinian state, but has put little pressure on Israel into making concessions.