Erekat: U.S. Has No Reason to Veto Palestinian Bid for Statehood

Top PA negotiator says Israel has 'ruined the peace process', implores U.S. to reconsider veto at UN in September in light of failure to revive stalled Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat called on the U.S. to reconsider its decision to veto a Palestinian bid for statehood in the United Nations in September, saying there was no reason for the U.S. to withhold approval, according to an Army Radio report.

"Israel has ruined the peace (process), and the United States must reconsider its stance on the matter," the Palestinian negotiator said.

Erekat - AP - May 1, 2010

Erekat criticized the U.S. inability to revive peace talks, saying the U.S. has no reason to veto the resolution for the establishment of a Palestinian state "after it failed to move the peace process forward or halt settlement building."

The Palestinian negotiator added that PA President Mahmoud Abbas would be personally asking the United Nations for recognition of a future Palestinian state, the Army Radio report said.

The Palestinian Authority plans to seek UN recognition in September after prolonged deadlock in peace talks.

Over 130 of the 192 member states of the United Nations are expected to support the establishment of a Palestinian state if it is brought up for a vote by the General Assembly this coming September. However, this endorsement would be meaningless if the United States vetoes the resolution in the UN Security Council.

Erekat's statement comes on the same day Abbas is to embark on a European tour in a bid to attain international endorsement of Palestinian statehood. Abbas will visit Norway, Spain and Turkey, Ma'an News Agency reported a Palestinian official as saying.

On Friday, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said that a Palestinian attempt to gain UN recognition with or without a peace agreement with Israel means "next to nothing" even if it succeeds. He continued, adding that the U.S. should "not to take it (the prospect of recognition of a Palestinian state in September) so seriously."