U.S. warns Abbas on statehood push


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Top U.S. officials warned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that pressing for U.N. statehood recognition would harm relations with the United States.

"They talked about some sort of confrontation, which means there will be a big difference" between the United States and the Palestinians, Abbas told media Thursday, a day after meeting Dennis Ross and David Hale, respectively the top White House and State Department Middle East negotiators.

Abbas said he would prefer not to have a confrontation but is determined to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations later this month.

The Obama administration has said it would veto such a move but wants to avoid the diplomatic showdown that would ensue.

Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary general, said Friday that Palestinian statehood was "long overdue" but that it was up to the member states whether to confer recognition.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Hale and Ross warned Abbas that pressing ahead would cost the P.A.much of the approximately $500 million in annual assistance that it receives from the U.S.

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