Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he delivers a speech during a meeting with Israel peace activists and press in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, West Bank, April 28, 2011. UPI/Debbie Hill | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Any effort from Palestinians to unilaterally declare independence at the United Nations is counterproductive to a two-state solution, Washington said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he will seek recognition of statehood at the United Nations this month despite warnings from the United States.
Washington said it will veto any request Palestinians make to the U.N. Security Council to be a member state.
If the request is vetoed, Palestinian officials say they will approach the General Assembly -- where they would need a majority vote for the state of Palestine to be upgraded from the status of observer to a non-member state. From there, the government could join U.N. bodies and conventions.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the Obama administration's position on Palestinian statehood was clear.
"We continue to see any kind of effort by the Palestinians in New York as counterproductive and not in the interest of achieving a two-state solution, which is our goal," he said during his regular briefing.
Washington has said it wants to give negotiations another chance so that the thorny issue of Israeli settlements on the West Bank can be ironed out first.
Debates at the 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly begin next Wednesday.