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Turki Al-Faisal,Warned the US If It Vetoes Palestinian State,
Pro-Israel Dennis Ross Pressures Palestinians to Cancel UN Bid


Former Saudi Intelligence Chief Warns U.S. Of Veto Consequences

Tuesday September 13, 2011 21:43 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Saudi Prince, former Saudi Intelligence Agency chief, Turki Al-Faisal, warned the United States that its strategic relations with its Arab allies, mainly Riyadh, will be significantly harmed, should Washington opt to veto the establishment of a Palestinian State.

The New York Times reported that Al-Faisal warned that a U.S. veto against full Palestinian membership at the United Nations “will destroy the special relations between Riyadh and Washington, and will harm the U.S. in the Arab world”.

Al-Faisal further stated that the United States must support the Palestinian decision to establish an independent state, and must vote for the decision this month, otherwise, “Washington will lose its already declining credibility in the Arab world”.

The Saudi Prince said that Washington must realize that losing its credibility directly impacts the security of Israel, and will lead to a stronger Iranian domination in the region, an issue that increases the possibilities of a new war.

Al Faisal said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia “will not be willing to continue its current cooperation with Washington”, especially amidst the revolutions in the Arab world, as these revolutions demand democracy, and demand justice to the Palestinian people.

He also stated that, due to the changes in the region, the leadership in Saudi Arabia will be obliged to adopt more independent foreign policies, and will be forced to adopt policies that are not coherent with the United States.

“The Palestinians want their right to statehood, all nations will support them”, Al Faisal added, “Israel should not regard the Palestinian demand as a threat; it should look at t as an opportunity for peace, security and equality”.

Hale, Ross, To Visit Middle-East Again, Try To Revive Stalled Talks

Wednesday September 14, 2011 00:22 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

The White House declared Tuesday that senior envoys Dennis Ross and David hale will be arriving in the region this week in an attempt to revive the stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. The move comes in an effort to convince the Palestinians to cancel their UN membership bid.

Hale and Ross were in the region last week, and met with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, but could not achieve any progress.

The U.S. is convinced that peace can only be achieved through direct peace talks. The Palestinians had to quit talks last year due to Israel’s ongoing violations, and the construction of illegal settlements.

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, said that that path to peace lies “in Jerusalem and Ramallah, not in New York”.

Her statements were considered in favor of Israel as she said “Jerusalem” when she referred to Israel, yet, the city is part of the occupied territories.

The U.S. is also not pressuring Israel into halting invasions, and the construction and expansion of settlements.

Israel regards Jerusalem, all of Jerusalem, as it’s eternal and undivided capital; the Palestinians seek to establish their independent state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The demand is coherent with all related United Nations and Security Council resolutions.

The UN General Assembly will start its sessions Monday, the United States wants to ensure the Palestinians void their plan before then, but has clearly announced it will veto the move should the Palestinians go ahead with their plan.

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated that the Palestinian UN-bid is not meant to isolate Israel, and is only meant to achieve international recognition of the legitimate Palestinian rights, but Israel claims that the move is meant to isolate and delegitimize it.

Palestine holds “observer” status at the UN; this status does not grant it any voting rights. The Palestinian Authority’s bid to become a full member requires the approval of the United Nations Security Council, but the U.S. said it will use its veto power against it.

But the U.S. Veto will lead to a setback in the relations between Washington and the Arab World, an issue that Washington is trying to avoid, especially amidst the current changes and popular protests in several Arab countries.

On Tuesday, Saudi Prince, former Saudi Intelligence Agency chief, Turki Al Faisal, warned the United States that its strategic relations with its Arab allies, mainly Riyadh, will be significantly harmed, should Washington opt to veto the establishment of a Palestinian State.

Al Faisal said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia “will not be willing to continue its current cooperation with Washington”, especially amidst the revolutions in the Arab world, as these revolutions demand democracy, and demand justice to the Palestinian people.

To be voted as a nonmember state, the Palestinian Authority needs the majority of the votes of the 193 member countries.

After the vote, and the already announced U.S. veto, the Palestinians plan to head to the General Assembly where they will likely receive the support of the majority of member states.

Heading to the General Assembly would grant the Palestinians the status of a nonvoting state, as only the Security Council is allowed to approve a full member state.

Ashton Urges Resumption Of Peace Talks

Tuesday September 13, 2011 05:39 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

European Union Foreign Policy chief, Catherine Ashton, held a meeting on Tuesday in Cairo with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and called for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, instead of the Palestinian plan to head to the United Nations

Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyadh al-Maliki, stated that the Palestinians welcome all European suggestions that serve their national interests; otherwise, “they are determined to head to the UN”.

He added that the recent German stances regarding the issue were not fully positive, as Germany tried to talk Abbas out of the U.N. bid.

On her part, Ashton stated that “the only option for progress towards peace is negotiations” and that the E.U. wants to see the Palestinian and Israeli people living side by side in peace and stability.

Her statements came after a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Amro.

She said that envoys visited Egypt several times, and that “as far as the peace process and the Palestinian State, there is still not definitive solution, and no unified European stance regarding the U.N. move”.

Ashton stated that the only clear stance in the E.U. right now is the need to restart peace talks.

Meanwhile, President Abbas raised the Palestinian flag on his home adhering to a popular campaign calling for raising Palestinian flags on all homes and vehicles to express support to the move.

The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians started in the early nineties, but real progress on the ground was never achieved, and Israel conducted its most dangerous settlement construction and expansion while it was negotiating “on the future of the occupied territories”.

Israel also considers talks on Jerusalem, borders, natural resources and the right of return of the Palestinian refugees, as red lines.

During their Sunday preliminary meeting, the Foreign Ministers of the Arab League expressed full support to the Palestinian move, and slammed Israel for its violations and ongoing settlement activities. The ministers are planning to hold another meeting Tuesday;

Foreign Minister of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jassim, stated that he hopes Arab leaders would also support taking the U.N. bid to the General Assembly.

The U.S. recently stated it is going to use its veto power against the Palestinian move at the United Nations.

The Palestinians need the Security Council’s approval to become a member state at the United Nations, instead of the current observer status.

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