Sens. Cardin, Collins Warn Abbas to Drop UN Recognition Efforts
As conflict escalates in the Middle East, two senators from either side of the aisle are telling Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to put away his push for non-member state status at the United Nations General Assembly.
"We write to express our deep concern over your stated intention to pursue non-member state status at the United Nations General Assembly later this month. Like President Obama, who has clearly conveyed to you his opposition to such a move at the UN, we believe that peace is better served by directly negotiating with Israel rather than by taking these types of unilateral actions," said the letter from Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).
The pair authored a Senate resolution expressing support for a negotiated two-state solution, which unanimously passed the upper chamber in June 2011.
"We write to remind you of some of the key points of that resolution which we believe still are widely supported by the United States Senate," Cardin and Collins told Abbas.
The resolution reiterated strong opposition to any attempt to establish or seek recognition of a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians, and calls on the PA to cease efforts at circumventing the negotiation process, including through a unilateral declaration of statehood or quests for recognition of a Palestinian state from other nations or the UN.
"Should you decide, however, to bypass direct negotiations and unilaterally seek upgraded status at the UN, we want to again remind you of the potential for significant consequences. As S. Res. 185 notes, any such efforts may cause consequences in regards to U.S. policy and foreign aid," Cardin and Collins warned.
"...Palestinian statehood can only be realized as a result of a broader peace agreement negotiated with the Israelis, not through unilateral measures at the United Nations."