Palestinian President Denies U.S. Plea to Delay UN Membership Vote

( – Over the last several weeks, the United States has urged the Palestinian Abbas government to back off of requests to be admitted as a full member of the United Nations. Currently, the government that represents Palestinians is only an observer state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declined to cease its pursuit of a vote on the resolution, which would require nine votes to pass. Axios reported that the United States was attempting to stop the vote from occurring so that it would not have to veto the resolution, which would undoubtedly increase criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Biden has lost support from the far-left wing of the Democratic Party for stopping short of calling for a permanent cease-fire. A U.S. official told Axios that the Biden administration was working on a way to recognize Palestine that did not include becoming a full member of the UN. An official from the Abbas government said that the Biden administration offered a White House meeting if the membership bid was suspended, but Abbas declined. The official said that Abbas agreed to a meeting last year but was never invited to Washington D.C.

In the days leading up to the vote, the Abbas government had support from China, Algeria, Russia, Malta, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Guyana, and Mozambique, according to an official from the Israeli government. The United States was lobbying its closest allies to either vote against the measure or abstain. On April 18, the United States vetoed the resolution after 12 countries voted in favor. Abbas’s office said that the veto was “a blatant aggression” by the United States and pushed “the region even further to the edge of the abyss.”

Algerian Ambassador Amar Bendjama said that the amount of support the resolution received made clear that the Palestinians should be approved as a UN member state. The United States believes that UN membership is not the way to go about forming a Palestinian state, arguing that a peace deal with Israel was the only way forward.

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