Arab states ask UN to condemn new Israeli settlements
Arab states asked the UN Security Council on Wednesday to re-declare Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories illegal and condemn new constructions in East Jerusalem.
Libya, a council member and head of the Arab group in the UN, submitted a draft resolution calling on Israel to immediately stop its expansion in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. The United States is opposed to the demand, the dpa reported.
"For us, the criteria for an acceptable resolution which can make it to the council, is that it is balanced," said US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, explaining that achievements or setbacks from both sides in the Isaeli-Palestinian conflicts must be reflected in the draft.
"We believe for this region of the world, which is the source of many geo-political problems, to move to normalcy, the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must make necessary progress," he said.
Khalilzad urged Arab governments to be patient and work with the council to resolve the Middle East conflict. He said the council has been "polarized" on issues pertaining to the conflict and has not been able to play a constructive role in that region.
The US has been opposing Arab-led draft resolutions that condemn only one side in the conflict.
The League of Arab States urged the council in a statement issued at UN headquarters on Wednesday to take action on the draft "soon," complaining that its previous draft resolution submitted a month ago on the same issue of Jewish settlements has been ignored.