Saturday, February 19, 2011
Arab Resolution Vetoed By US Before UN Security Council
The United States on Friday vetoed an Arab resolution before the UN Security Council condemning continued Israeli settlement building.
US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, said Washington had "regrettably" chosen to oppose the resolution, sponsored by some 130 countries and backed by the Palestinian leadership, after seeking to offer an alternative course which had been rejected.
"This draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides," Rice said. "It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations."
And she stressed Washington's veto the first by President Barack Obama's administration at the United Nations should not be taken as US support for settlement building.
"We reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity," she told the Council.
But she said the United Nations was not the correct place to try to resolve the decades-old Israel-Palestinian conflict.
"While we agree with our fellow council members and indeed with the wider world about the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians," she said.