US lobbying other UNSC members to block Palestinian statehood bid to avoid using veto

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a United Nations Security Council concerning meeting concerning issues in the Middle East, at UN headquarters, February 20, 2018 in New York City.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a United Nations Security Council concerning meeting concerning issues in the Middle East, at UN headquarters, February 20, 2018 in New York City.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

Recognizing that blocking the initiative would expose it to criticism abroad by proponents of the move who say it helps actualize the two-state solution that the US purports to support, the Biden administration quietly tried to convince Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to shelve the UNSC bid, a Palestinian official told The Times of Israel, confirming reporting in the Axios news site.

Abbas rebuffed the US efforts, though, amid long-held frustration in Ramallah over what it views as Biden’s failure to sufficiently pressure Israel and refusal to follow-through on promises to reopen the US Consulate in Jerusalem and the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington.

Recognizing that Abbas would not heed its call, the US has worked to convince other Security Council countries to either abstain or oppose the Palestinian statehood bid, so that it isn’t forced to use its veto, the Palestinian official said.

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