LONDON (EJP)---According to a report in the Guardian, the United States has warned EU governments against supporting a Palestinian bid for upgraded status at the United Nations.
Such a move "would be extremely counterproductive" and threatening "significant negative consequences" for the Palestinian Authority, including financial sanctions, the US said, the British newspaper reported.
A US memorandum, seen by the Guardian, said Palestinian statehood "can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis" and urged European governments "to support American efforts" to block the bid.
The message was communicated by officials to representatives of European governments at last week’s UN General Assembly in New York.
In an address to the General Assembly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he was seeking 'non-member state' upgraded status at the UN, similar to that of the Vatican, instead of an “entity.”
The move is a diminution of Palestinian ambitions after its application for full statehood failed last year when it was blocked by the US in the UN Security Council.
The Palestinians are waiting until after the US presidential election in early November before proceeding with their bid for upgraded status.
They are confident of winning a comfortable majority among the UN's 193 countries, as the US has no veto at the General Assembly.
The US memorandum said the Washington was continuing to work for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and urged both parties "to avoid provocative one-sided actions that could undermine trust or otherwise distract from the pursuit of peace".
A Palestinian resolution on non-member state status "would have significant negative consequences, for the peace process itself, for the UN system, as well as our ability to maintain our significant financial support for the Palestinian Authority".
The memorandum reportedly continued: "We believe your government understands what is at stake here, and – like us – wants to avoid a collision at the coming UNGA session," said the text. "We hope you are willing to support our efforts … We would appreciate knowing where your government stands on this issue. We would also be interested in knowing whether you have been approached on this matter by Palestinian representatives."
Discussions among EU member states on whether to support the Palestinians' bid are due to be held on October 15 when EU Foreign Ministers will meet.
According to a diplomatic source, the 27 member states are unlikely to forge a common line.
The US state department declined to comment on the Guardian report.