Friday, November 30, 2007

Oops, US Ambassador To UN Upsets Israel

By Cernig

Apparently there's something about being US ambassador to the UN that makes even the staunchest Bush loyalist into a loose cannon.
In an about face, the United States on Friday withdrew a U.N. resolution endorsing this week's agreement by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to try to reach a Mideast peace settlement by the end of 2008, apparently after Israel objected.

Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff informed the Security Council that the United States was pulling the resolution from consideration less than 24 hours after Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad introduced it and welcomed the ``very positive'' response from council members.

Khalilzad had said he needed to consult with the Israelis and Palestinians on the text of the resolution to ensure that it was what they wanted following the decisions by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, Md.

Wolff said the U.S. had held intensive consultations in the past few days ``and the upshot was that there were some unease with the idea'' of a resolution.

Well-informed diplomats said Israel, a close U.S. ally, did not want a resolution, which would bring the Security Council into the fledgling negotiations with the Palestinians. The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Khalilzad introduced the draft resolution without getting broad support from the Israelis, Palestinians and the Bush administration.

``It's not the proper venue,'' Israel's deputy ambassador Daniel Carmon said after Friday's council meeting. ``We feel that the appreciation of Annapolis has other means of being expressed than in a resolution.
The State Department said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had decided such a resolution was unnecessary...

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