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Palestinian Bid for Statehood at UN a “Distraction”: Obama

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that the effort by the Palestinians to seek statehood at the United Nations was a “distraction,” according to media reports.

During a roundtable discussion with Hispanic journalists, Obama said the Palestinian effort would not solve the problem of statehood, said the reports. The Obama administration had already explicitly said that it would veto any Palestinian bid at the UN Security Council.

“This issue is only going to be resolved by Israelis and Palestinians agreeing on something,” he said.

Obama said the likely scenario was that the Palestinians would have their status elevated from the nonvoting observer entity to nonvoting observer state at the UN General Assembly which would start later this month.

But he made it clear that if the issue was brought to the UN Security Council, the United States would “object very strongly.”

The Palestinians said that they had decided to go to the world body later in September to request the recognition of a full membership of the state of Palestine established on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Analysts say that the potential veto by Washington at the UN Security Council would likely inflame anti-U.S. sentiment in the Muslim population and further alienate an already turbulent Arab world.


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