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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

UN ambassador: US supports Fayyad plan

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice spoke at the Arab American Institute's Kahlil Gibran Awards in Washington on April 21st.

Some of what she said appears to be contradictory.

First she stated:
First, let there be no doubt: President Obama and all of us in his Administration are determined to reach a comprehensive peace in the Middle East—central to which is a two-state solution. President Obama has defined this goal as a vital U.S. interest. Now, none of us need to be reminded that this is very tough work. But we believe that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree to an outcome that ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and Israel’s goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israel’s security requirements.

Israelis and Palestinians, as well as all those interested in peace, need to confront a basic reality: the status quo has neither produced long-term security nor served their interests. All parties must accept their share of responsibility for reaching a comprehensive peace that will benefit the entire region and the world. Our efforts must be driven from both above and below. That’s why the United States is focused on two mutually reinforcing tracks: resuming negotiations between the parties, and helping develop the institutions of a future Palestinian state. We strongly endorse the Palestinian Authority’s two-year state-building plan and are doing all we can to support it.
Contrast this with the next paragraph:
It is also important that the parties fulfill their Roadmap obligations. Unilateral actions taken by either party cannot be allowed to prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community. Our position remains clear: we do not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity. Israel should also halt evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes. At the same time, the Palestinian Authority should continue to make every effort to ensure security, to reform its institutions of governance, and to take strong, consistent action to end all forms of incitement.
The only unilateral action that she decries are those that are done by Israel.

Yet the two year state-building plan that she says the US endorses is meant to culminate in the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian Arab state - in direct contradiction with the Road Map (not to mention Oslo and all other agreements.) It also includes building in Area C which would be a unilateral move that violates Oslo.

She didn't say a word against those, nor am I aware of any White House statement that says that the Fayyad plan is unacceptable due to its unilateral nature.

Perhaps when she says that the US is against unilateral actions, she only means by one side.