Maen Rashid Areikat has served as the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) ambassador to the United States for the past six years. He was director general of the Negotiation Affairs Department under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ while serving as the president’s personal aide.
Q: Are the Palestinians finding resistance from the US regarding its plans to obtain a UN Security Council Resolution setting a timetable for the withdrawal of Israeli forces?
Areikat: When President Abbas met with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Kerry did not tell Abbas not to go through with it. He asked for clarifications and stressed that the US prefers to advance the political process through direct negotiations: the same US position we’re all familiar with.
Q: If the Palestinians know that the US will veto any Security Council resolution for an independent state, why are they going ahead with it?
Areikat: First of all, we hope that the US will not veto such a resolution. That is why we are talking to them and talking to other parties: the United Nations, Europe, Russia and others to make sure that the resolution is submitted to the Security Council. We hope that the US will understand that trying to get such a resolution passed is not contradictory to the American position. We still have hope that the United States will not veto it.
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