The United States is trying to initiate a new round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in an effort to push the Palestinians to drop their statehood bid at the United Nations, the Guardian reports. The Palestinians are turning to the U.N. after peace talks with Israel have gone nowhere.
A Palestinian request for statehood recognition would cause a diplomatic problem for the United States, which is expected to veto the request. The U.S. move would then further damage its reputation in the Middle East.
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To avoid such an embarrassment, Washington has dispatched negotiators to talk to Palestinian and Israeli leaders, the Guardian states.
"The U.S. is working with Tony Blair, special envoy of the quartet of the U.N., E.U., U.S. and Russia, to come up with a framework for talks that could lure the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. U.S. envoys David Hale and Dennis Ross, the European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Blair are due to meet Palestinian and Israeli leaders," it states.
Ross and Hale are expected to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders. They plan on then traveling to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Despite the U.S. efforts, the odds of a breakthrough in talks between Israelis and Palestinians appeared slim, the Associated Press reports.
The Palestinians are expected to make their request to the United Nations general assembly or security council next week.
Support by the United Nations would not change things on the ground, but Palestinians believe it would give them leverage in negotiations, AP states.