Report: US Urging France to Delay UN Resolution Over Peace Process
The Obama administration has been urging France and other countries from pursuing measures at the U.N. Security Council meant to force Israel and the Palestinian Authority back into the peace process until after negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have concluded, Foreign Policy magazine reported on Tuesday.
Perhaps attempting to have to deal with two highly contentious and politically polarizing Middle East conflicts at once, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “appealed to his French counterpart to put the decision off until at least after the deadline for Iran talks wraps up at the end of June, or possibly even later,” according to the report.
The Obama administration wants to secure support for the Iran deal, which must pass congressional approval before the U.S. ratifies the agreement with the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran.
The report comes just a few days after Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman intimated that the new Israeli government’s approach to the two-state solution and peace negotiations could affect U.S. support of Israel at the U.N. over such resolutions, which Israel finds distasteful.
“If the new Israeli government is seen as stepping back from its commitment to a two-state solution, something that all of you and a vast majority of American Jews supports, that makes our job in the international arena a lot tougher because our ability to push back on efforts to internationalize efforts to address Israeli-Palestinian issues has depended on our insistence that the best course in achieving a two-solution is through direct negotiation between the parties,” Sherman said.
In the run-up to Israeli elections earlier this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew the ire of the Obama administration when he made statements calling the peace process with the Palestinians “irrelevant” at the current time.
He said “Hamastan B” would not be created on his watch, referring to the terrorist group Hamas that rules the Gaza Strip and battled Israel over a 50-day war last summer.
Sherman meanwhile said the U.S. would be “watching very closely to see what happens after a new government is formed on this issue of working toward two states living side by side in peace and security.”
In addition, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said since the Israeli elections that he would talk to the Israeli prime minister about the issues.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced a few weeks ago that he would push for a resolution at the U.N. within a matter of weeks laying a framework and timetable for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, which collapsed last year after a nine-month effort led by the U.S.
Hinting at the traditional U.S. veto umbrella over Israel at the U.N., Fabius said, “I hope that the partners who were reluctant will not be reluctant anymore.”