U.S. Explains Veto of Resolution

State Department spokesman Charles Bray said today that the draft resolution defeated in the Security. Council would have “set back,” not advanced the chances for peaceful settlement in the Middle East. While the United States was willing to offer amendments which would have “restored a degree of balance to the resolution,” he said. “the absence of a serious response makes it difficult not to conclude that the principle purpose was to draw an American veto.”

Bray emphasized that the U.S. continues to support a negotiated settlement involving Israel and Egypt but declined to state whether the negotiated process must necessarily be direct. The U.S. veto came, he said, because the resolution would have “distorted and changed the Security Council Resolution 242 which is the only agreed basis for a settlement.”

He explained that the defeated resolution referred to withdrawal from “the” occupied territories rather than the more general “withdrawal from territories occupies…” in the Resolution 242. Introduction of the word “the” would have called on Israel to make a total withdrawal from all occupied territories before negotiations would begin.

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