US warns: Palestinian success at UN will endanger peace process

Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas

The US has warned EU governments not to back the Palestinian Authority bid for upgraded status at the United Nations, according to a memo obtained by the Guardian.

The message, which was passed to representatives of EU governments at the UN General Assembly meeting last week, said that Palestinian statehood "can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis". The memo also urged European governments "to support [American] efforts" to block the bid.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas's bid for non-state membership is a softened version of his proposal to the General Assembly last year, in which he made a bid for full recognition.

The Palestinians say they will press for a vote before the end of the year and are confident of majority support among the UN's 193 countries.

The US memo said that a UN upgrade for the Palestinians "would have significant negative consequences, for the peace process itself, for the UN system, as well as our ability to maintain our significant financial support for the Palestinian Authority".

Last updated: 10:05am, October 3 2012