U.S. says any U.N. Mideast resolution should include from now on condemnation to Palestinian “terrorism”
In a major policy shift, the United States on Friday told the Security Council that it would only consider Mideast resolutions that explicitly condemn Palestinian “terrorism” and call on both sides to pursue a political settlement, a U.S. official said.
U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte told a closed Security Council meeting that a proposed Arab resolution condemning Israel was unhelpful and that the United States would oppose it if it came to a vote, the official said according to AP.
The council was meeting to debate a resolution circulated by the Palestinians which condemns Israel and expresses sympathy for Palestinian victims. The proposed resolution says the council "is seriously concerned by the extrajudicial execution of 23 July 2002 and the deaths and injuries it caused." It also expresses support for peace efforts of the "quartet" on the Middle East -- the United States, Russia, the UN and European Union.
Negroponte told council members that future Mideast resolutions must include a condemnation of Palestinian “terrorism” and an explicit condemnation of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade. The United States also wants Israel's security needs addressed in order for an Israeli troop withdrawal from areas entered after fighting broke out in September, 2000. "The United States will not support the text. A change of language will not make a difference," he said.
The Palestinian resolution, which was supported by a group of Arab ambassadors, calls for an immediate Israeli withdrawal but does not mention Israel's security concerns. The proposal was formally submitted to the council by Syria.
British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock, the current Security Council president, said countries would have the weekend to consider the proposal and would meet on it again Monday.
"I believe the draft resolution is design to strike a very reasonable balance and, indeed, to achieve consensus among the members of the Security Council," Palestinian representative Nasser al-Kidwa complained. "If this is really unaccepatable as is then we suggest that anyone who doesn't want to accept it doesn't want action by the Security Council."
For his part, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat expressed disappointment about the American stand. "I am sorry to say ... (the Americans) are going to use the veto against any statement condemning Israeli crimes," Arafat told reporters Friday. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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