Wednesday, 31 December 2014

UN Security Council rejects Palestine statehood resolution


UNTED NATIONS (AFP) -- The UN Security Council failed to adopt a resolution on Palestinian statehood that was strongly opposed by the United States on Tuesday.

China, France and Russia were among the eight countries that voted in favor of the text, but the resolution fell short of winning the nine "yes" votes necessary morefor adoption in the 15-member council.

Australia and the United States voted against, and five other countries abstained, including Britain.

The resolution drafted by the Palestinians and backed by Arab countries would have paved the way to a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

It set a 12-month deadline for Israel to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians and called for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories by the end of 2017.

Security Council member Jordan had requested the vote despite opposition from the United States, which argued that the resolution did not address Israel's security concerns and set arbitrary deadlines.

"This resolution sets the stage for more division, not for compromise," US Ambassador Samantha Power told the council. "This text addresses the concerns of just one side."

Power defended the US position in favor of direct talks, saying "peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must be made at the negotiating table."

US Secretary of State John Kerry had lobbied in the days leading up to the vote, calling 13 foreign ministers to explain the American opposition. more

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