U.S.: Possible UN Censure of Settlements 'Not Helpful' to Peace Process

State Department opposes move by Arab countries to bring a UN resolution condemning the settlement; Washington has not indicated whether it will veto the move.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved through direct peace negotiations, not by submitting resolutions to the UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlements, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday.

The United States has opposed a move by Arab countries to bring a resolution condemning the settlement, but has not said it would use its veto to block passage.

Clinton - AP - Oct 7, 2010

Clinton told reporters the issue needs to be resolved through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, even as the United States has also condemned continued settlement construction.

"We dont see action in the United Nations or any other forum as being helpful in bringing about that desired outcome," she said, before adding that the United States is "working to keep the focus where we think it needs to be, and thats not in New York."

Early indications are the resolution, tabled on Wednesday had nearly unanimous support, but it likely will not come to a vote for a few weeks.

U.S.-brokered direct talks ended in September - just weeks after they began - when an Israeli moratorium on settlement building expired. The Palestinians have demanded a freeze as a condition for holding the negotiations.