Palestinian plans to bid for statehood at the United Nations in September are a distraction from the goal of peace negotiations, a US State Department official has said.
The Obama administration has already stated its opposition to such a unilateral move by the Palestinians. Victoria Nuland, a Stet Department spokeswoman, said the plans were simply "not helpful" and that it was already "hard work" encouraging a return to negotiations.
"Our goal is to get these parties back to the table," she said. "Our position on the idea of a UN action in September remains that it's not a good idea."
It is almost a year since peace talks resumed in Washington, but they have been stalled for several months and Palestinian and Israeli officials are engaged in efforts around the world to secure support for and against a unilateral statehood bid.
The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is to hold a meeting nest week with Middle East mediators including UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and the European Union's foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton.