Palestinians say will press U.N. vote despite U.S. veto warning

The official said they would submit the draft resolution as planned on Wednesday

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The Palestinians told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday they will submit a draft resolution to the United Nations despite the top diplomat’s warnings of a veto, a Palestinian official said, according to Agence France-Presse.

The official said they would submit the text as planned on Wednesday calling for a withdrawal of Israeli troops from occupied Palestinian territory within two years.

Kerry told the Palestinian delegation that Washington would use its veto within the Security Council, he said of talks held in London between the secretary of state and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat.

The official said the talks had been “long and difficult but achieved results.”

If the United States uses its veto, Erakat told Kerry, the Palestinians would apply to join all international organisations and conventions, including the International Criminal Court, a move firmly opposed by Washington.

France is putting together a more nuanced version of a draft to the Security Council setting a two-year timetable for concluding a peace treaty, without mentioning an Israeli withdrawal.

Mohammed Shtayyeh, a member of Abbas’s inner circle, said France had “accommodated” the Palestinians.

“We have merged. We don’t have two texts now. There is one single text. We have happily accepted the French text when the modifications have been added,” he said, without elaborating.

Shtayyeh said the United States wanted any draft resolution to be put off until after an Israeli general election in March but the Palestinians were “sick” of two-way negotiations with the Jewish state that had made no progress.

(With AFP)

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