UNITED NATIONS: The United States on Friday voted agaisnt the United Nations Security Council resolution to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
According to the Haaretz newspaper, the resolution had nearly 120 co-sponsors, exclusively Arab and other non-aligned nations. The U.S. used its power to veto any action by the Security Council despite that the other 14 Security Council members voted in favor.
The U.S. position on the draft resolution was announced by the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. The U.S. has the power to block draft resolutions due to being one of the five permanent council members.
Prior to the Security Council vote, Palestinian permanent observer to the UN, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, voiced his hope that the United States would not obstruct the draft resolution.
In addition, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected a compromise offered by the United States in exchange for the withdrawal of the draft resolution. The decision was made unanimously during a meeting between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Abbas's Fatah movement.
On Thursday, State Secretary Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. opposes new Israeli settlements but the UN Security Council resolutions are not the right vehicle for advancing negotiation between Israel and Palestine.
Clinton added that the Obama Administration was working with their allies in the region and partners in the Security Council to find a "consensus way forward that is consistent with the U.S. overall approach."
Philip Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, confirmed on Friday that Secretary Clinton met with a wide range of leaders in recent days, including the Qatari prime minister and the head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa.
In addition, President Barack Obama had a number of conversations with Palestinian officials, including with President Abbas, but Crawley said that the White House will keep those diplomatic exchanges private.
"Our goal is absolutely the same as it always has been – two states living side by side, the Palestinians having a state of their own to realize the aspirations of the Palestinian people, Israel with secure borders and normalized relations with all of their neighbors," said Secretary Clinton.
(BNO NEWS )