(JTA) — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Susan Collins sent a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas opposing any unilateral attempts to pursue non-member state status at the United Nations General Assembly. The letter, sent Nov. 21, said that “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.”
Cardin (D-MD) and Collins (R-ME), who co-authored a Senate resolution denouncing the statehood bid which passed unanimously in June and was co-sponsored by 90 senators, also warned Abbas that “any such efforts may cause consequences in regards to U.S. policy and foreign aid.”
A bid in the General Assembly is likely to be approved. Last year, the United States used its veto to prevent a similar statehood bid in the U.N. Security Council. No country has a veto in the General Assembly.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in announcing a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza on Nov. 21 in Cairo, said the next steps include moving toward a “comprehensive peace” between Israel and the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, on the same day said at the Security Council that the United States “view(s) unilateral steps, including the bid for upgraded status to statehood — observer state status at the General Assembly — to be counterproductive and not take us closer to that goal, and, therefore, we strongly oppose it.”