• Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Send to Kindle

President Obama Reiterates Opposition To Planned Diplomatic Gambit By Palestinian Leader

On a phone call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,
U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated his opposition to a planned diplomatic gambit by the Palestinian leader, under which the Palestinians would secure non-member statehood at the United Nations. What journalists are labeling Abbas’s open ‘defiance’ of Obama’s explicit appeals may cost the Palestinian leader scarce diplomatic capital in Washington DC, which Abbas might need in the aftermath of the automatic U.S. diplomatic and financial sanctions that a successful statehood bid would trigger. U.S. legislation prohibits economic assistance to the Palestinians if they achieve statehood standing outside of signed agreements with Israel, and it mandates the shuttering of the PLO office in Washington DC. The State Department has long insisted that Abbas’s U.N. campaign for statehood – which violates decades of Palestinian commitments to pursuing peace with Israel under a bilateral framework – endangers the peace process and undermines the economic viability of a future Palestinian state.