U.S. Clashes with France over Palestinians


The United States publicly disagreed with France, one of its closest allies, on Tuesday, after Paris said it would back a Palestinian bid for enhanced status at the United Nations.

"We obviously disagree with our oldest ally on this issue. They know that we disagree with them," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. "But it's their sovereign decision to make, how to proceed."

She confirmed that if a vote goes ahead as planned in the U.N. General Assembly this week, the United States will vote against the Palestinian request, which Washington regards as "a mistake."

"We're focused on a policy objective on the ground for the Palestinian people, for the people of Israel, which is to end up with two states that can live peacefully next to each other," Nuland told journalists.

"Nothing in this action at the U.N. is going to take the Palestinians any closer to that. If there is a vote, we will vote 'no'. And we said that yesterday. I say it again today."

France is the first major European power to voice approval of the Palestinian move to upgrade its current permanent observer status, while Britain has said it has yet to decide on its position.

The proposal is set to sail through as it has the backing of the majority of the U.N.'s 193 member states, with diplomats predicting that between 11 and 15 EU countries could back the Palestinian proposal.

Amid a flurry of U.S. diplomatic efforts to try to head off a vote, Nuland also confirmed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been in touch with British Foreign Secretary William Hague on the issue.

"It's, you know, a British call how they want to take this forward. They know exactly where we stand as well," she said.

The U.S. believes that the Palestinian move "inflames the situation between the parties, makes it harder for them to come to the table, makes the political situation harder between them," she said.

Comments 9
Default-user-icon John Marina (Guest) 27 November 2012, 23:02

United States should be remanamed "The United States Of Israel

Default-user-icon Joerg Kolbe (Guest) 27 November 2012, 23:12

France should remain in their opinion

Thumb Lebfrcan 28 November 2012, 00:33

USA time to change your policies in the Middle East.
It is harming your credibility as well.

Default-user-icon Matt (Guest) 28 November 2012, 01:29

The US cares about is allies. Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, are not allies.

Thumb jabal10452 28 November 2012, 03:10

Would someone please explain to me how an enhanced status for the palestinians would impede peace negotiations? I just don't understand the American argument here.

Missing phillipo 28 November 2012, 09:14

Simple, once they've gone through the Un, the starting point for negotiations with Israel will have changed. For example - The Palestinians will claim that the world recognises them within the 1967 boundaries whereas during peace nogotiations until now there has been talk of border changes.

Thumb ghada12 28 November 2012, 07:56

lol totally shocked...

Thumb ghada12 28 November 2012, 07:59

I wish I know what it is liked to be so favored. Won't it be wonderful to be able to do whatever you want and have big papa constantly pat you on the back? :( I will never know this feeling.

Default-user-icon Mike (Guest) 02 December 2012, 06:44

Let me explain what is meant by "counter productive" referring to UN resolution: it means let us keep on going using the current peace process which has failed for the last twenty years and best of all we are in control to make sure it continues to fail. Well, now we all know what it means.