The United States is attempting to derail a Palestinian bid to achieve non-member UN status later this month, according to the US State Department.
Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Monday that “we continue to make clear that we believe that the only realistic path for the Palestinians to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations,” according to AFP.
“We are working intensively through the Quartet and directly with Israelis and Palestinians to continue to encourage them to come back to the table,” she added. “All we can do is push them. We cannot force them. They’ve got to make the decision for peace. They’ve got to make the decision to come back to the table.”
On Saturday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he would seek to upgrade Palestine to non-member status at a UN General Assembly meeting which starts on September 27. Such a bid would likely be approved by the 194-member state body, granting “Palestine” observer rights and membership opportunities in UN forums.
In September 2011, Abbas attempted to gain full-member status for Palestine, but the application was withdrawn after the US threatened to veto the bid in the UN Security Council, whose approval is a necessary step for full-member status. The PA did not have the necessary support in the 15-member Security Council to force a US veto.
In October, Palestine was recognized as a full member by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which has separate membership requirements.