State Department Official Says U.S. Would Veto Palestinian UN Bid

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman expresses concern regarding possibility of UN declaration in the General Assembly, expresses the need for direct negotiations.

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A top U.S. official confirmed Wednesday that the Obama administration would veto a resolution to recognize a Palestinian state, should one be put forth before the Security Council.

"The administration has been very clear that if any such resolution were put in front of the Security Council, that we would veto it," said Wendy Sherman, newly-confirmed Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, on Wednesday during her Senate confirmation hearing.

President Barack Obama meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Wednesday, June 9, 2010, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington.Credit: AP

Sherman's comment marks the first time a U.S. official confirmed that the Obama administration will indeed cast a veto on Palestinians' statehood bid at the UN Security Council.

"The President has been very clear that a UN resolution to recognize Palestine will not get us to the two-state solution that both parties seek, and that most of the world seeks", Sherman said in an exchange with the U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).

Sherman continued, stating that direct negotiations are the "only path to that resolutionThe administration has been very clear that if any such resolution were put in front of the Security Council, that we would veto it".

Sherman added that while the United States is not concerned that the resolution will reach the Security Council, the possibility of a UN declaration in the General Assembly is "still of concern, expressing the need for another way forward which would include both parties entering into direct negotiations again.

Meanwhile, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed her surprise regarding the reaction to Sherman's comments.

"We've seen the press furor around this. Frankly, it was surprising to us", Nuland said.

I think the president's been clear all along that he opposes this, and has also made clear that the U.S. would oppose such a move firmly in the U.N. continued Nuland, emphasizing the United States desire to get to a place where the two states can live side by side in peace and security.

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