Cooperation between the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority will be harmed if the PA goes through with its plan to seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly session in September, a senior Western diplomat told Israeli journalists on Wednesday during a briefing in Tel Aviv.
"If the PA will go to the UN in September, it will make it harder for us to have the same relations with them as we had before when it comes to aid and security training," the diplomat said. "We want that to continue that cooperation but it will make it harder for us. It is easier to work together as partners."
According to the diplomat, the U.S. is trying hard to prevent a confrontation at the UN in September.
"We are trying very hard to make clear to the Palestinians that only direct talks can achieve their goals," the diplomat said. "We told the PA that going to the UN is a bad idea and avoiding talks will not produce any results for them."
The diplomat also referred to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's recent call for Israel to cut ties with the PA. The diplomat called on both sides to continue security cooperation and avoid steps that could deteriorate into violence and that
"We would call on all sides to avoid bloodshed in September," the diplomat said. "The security cooperation is a success story and resulted in improved security conditions on the ground. We want to see that continue. It is in Israel's interest and is a U.S. and PA interest too. We will make sure that the achievements will not be lost."
Also on Wednesday, President Shimon Peres met with 26 visiting Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Peace is encountering difficulties, as always, but I believe it is achievable," Peres said. "The Palestinians are weighing going to the UN but they themselves are not conviced that this is the right thing to do. The UN cannot provide answers to stopping global terrorism, particularly Iranian terrorism. A UN declaration would be meaningless and only prolong the conflict. I hope that both sides return to the negotiating table before September. Both we and the Palestinians understand that the alternative to peace is a succession of unfortunate mistakes."
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