U.S. seeks to defuse tensions over Israeli-Palestinian resolutions

The United States will seek to defuse tensions over proposed UN resolutions to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during talks in Europe next week, Secretary of State John Kerry said. He will meet Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome on Monday and senior European officials to discuss possible resolutions, which would require a vote in the UN Security Council where the U.S. holds a veto. Jordan has circulated a Palestinian resolution to the council calling for Israeli occupation to end by November 2016. Western diplomats have said the proposal is “unbalanced.”

We’re trying to figure out a way to help defuse the tensions and reduce the potential for more conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

France, Britain and Germany are in the process of drafting a proposal. Some countries believe agreement on a resolution would be easier to achieve before Israeli elections in March. If the U.S. pushes the Europeans to wait until after Israel’s elections, the Jordanians could put forward the Palestinian-drafted resolution for a vote in January that is likely to be vetoed by Washington. Jordan’s U.N. Ambassador Dina Kawar said this month that she hoped a resolution could be put to a vote in December or January.

There are a lot of different folks pushing in different directions out there, and the question is can we all pull in the same direction. That’s what we’re looking at.

John Kerry