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Secretary Kerry
Photo: AFP
Palestinians: US to veto UN resolution 'to end occupation'
Secretary of State John Kerry tells top Palestinian negotiator that US will block Jordanian-backed resolution at Security Council.
WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly told the Palestinians the United States will veto a proposed Palestinian resolution "to end the occupation" at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, Palestinian sources said.

 

 

Kerry, however, told a press conference on Tuesday that "no determinations" have been made yet.

 

"We've made no determinations about language, approaches, specific resolutions, any of that," Kerry said.

 

Secretary Kerry meeting with Arab League leaders (Photo: AP)
Secretary Kerry meeting with Arab League leaders (Photo: AP)

 

"This isn't the time to detail private conversations or speculate on a UN Security Council resolution that hasn't even been tabled no matter what pronouncements are made publicly about it."

 

He said they were mindful they had to "carefully calibrate" any steps that were taken and it was "imperative to lower the temperature" in the region to find a path for peace wanted by both Israelis and Palestinians.

 

"The status quo is unsustainable for both parties," he said. "Right now what we are trying to do is have a constructive conversation with everybody to find the best way to go forward. 

 

It was not initially clear how the US would react to the proposal by the Palestinians, a unilateral move that would force a schedule for an Israeli withdrawal from territories Palestinians want for their future state, after a shaky few months between US and Israeli relations.

 

The Americans clarified that they do not automatically veto all resolutions on Israel, and that they examine each Security Council resolution based on its merit. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the US opposed pre-determining the outcome of the peace process and that a time table for the removal of security forces constituted a unilateral action.

 

At his Tuesday evening meeting with Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Secretary Kerry said he opposed the Palestinian draft approved by the Arab League. He repeated the US decision to the foreign ministers of other world powers.

 

The US administration is wary of vetoing resolutions, and the State Department stressed that there was talk that the US never voted against Israel at the Security Council, but Psaki noted the US had supported resolutions that were not "one-sided."

 

Earlier in Paris, Kerry told journalists that it was "imperative to lower the temperature" in the region to find a path for peace wanted by both Israelis and Palestinians. "The status quo is unsustainable for both parties," he said. "Right now what we are trying to is have a constructive conversation with everybody to find the best way to go forward."

 

The top American diplomat has worked tirelessly in recent days to prevent the Jordanian-backed resolution from being proposed at the Security Council.

 

Reuters and Itamar Eichner contributed to this report.

 

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