US Consul-General in Jerusalem, Daniel
Rubinstein, Threatens Palestinians with Punitive Measures If They Seek
UN Membership, Says Erekat
US diplomat threatens to cut PA funds
Press TV, Aug 27, 2011 4:33AM
US Consul General in al-Qods Jerusalem Daniel Rubinstein A senior US
diplomat has warned that the United States would cut financial aid to
the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it pursues a statehood vote at the
United Nations next month.
"In case the Palestinian Authority
seeks to upgrade its position at the UN through the General Assembly,
the US Congress will take punitive measures against it, including a cut
in US aid," said the US Consul General in (al-Qods) Jerusalem Daniel
Rubinstein, Al Jazeera reported.
Rubinstein went on to say that
any resolution on the statehood of Palestine referred to the Security
Council by the UN General Assembly will be vetoed by the United States.
Several members of US Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have
already threatened to cut off American funds to the Fatah-led
Palestinian Authority if it seeks to win the UN recognition of an
independent Palestinian statehood.
Acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas
plans to attend a UN General Assembly meeting next month to upgrade the
Palestinian status to an independent state and gain full UN membership
for the country.
Palestinians have been campaigning to acquire
the UN recognition for an independent state that encompasses the West
Bank, the Gaza Strip, and illegally annexed East al-Quds -- the
territories the Israeli regime captured and annexed in its Six-Day War
Over 100 countries have already endorsed the 1988
Palestinian declaration of independent statehood.
requires a recommendation from the Security Council and a two-thirds
approval of the world body's General Assembly, or 128 countries.
Consulate: US envoy did not threaten aid to PA
Published yesterday (updated) 27/08/2011 00:00
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) --
The US Consulate in Jerusalem denied Friday that its top envoy had
warned the Palestinian Authority of "punitive measures" if the
Palestinians sought membership in the United Nations.
of PLO official Saeb Erekat quoted consul-general Daniel Rubinstein as
saying the US Congress would take punitive measures, "including cutting
US aid," if the Palestinians tried to upgrade their position at the UN.
But the consulate's deputy spokesperson Arlissa Reynolds said
Erekat's account of the meeting in Jericho was "not an accurate
portrayal of the US position," nor did Rubinstein make the comments
attributed to him.
Reynolds said the US position was to
encourage a return to negotiations with Israel. The US opposes
initiatives by the Palestinians through the United Nations, she told
"President Obama laid out goals and principles for
negotiations and our intention is to continue to work with the parties
on that basis. Itís the only realistic way forward for both parties to
achieve their goals," she said.
"As President Obama has made
clear, initiatives through the UN will not bring about the two-state
solution and enduring peace, which both the parties and the US seek,"
the spokeswoman added.
"Therefore, we continue to oppose
initiatives by the Palestinians in the UN. There is no substitute for
serious and substantive negotiations between the parties, and that
remains our focus."
Erekat's statement had quoted Rubinstein as
saying the US would use its veto if the PA went to the Security Council,
while the US Congress "will take punitive measures against it, including
cutting US aid."
The statement also said Erekat urged the
Americans to change their position on the issue because "the right
decision is to support Palestine's membership of the UN," the German
Press Agency reported.
DPA said Erekat, who had also met with
the EU representative to the Palestinian Authority, Christian Burger,
also urged Europe to support Palestinian efforts to get full membership
of the UN.
The EU, he said, "should take the correct position,
not the easy position."
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