Caribbean Under Pressure From Washington Against Palestinian State

Caribbean Under Pressure From Washington Against Palestinian State


Release Date

Friday, August 19, 2011


A senior United States diplomat says Washington will meet with Caribbean countries in a bid to discourage them from giving support to a premature Palestinian state. Earlier this month, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki led a delegation to a number of Caribbean and Latin American countries seeking support at next month's United Nations meeting where the proposal for a recognized Palestinian state is expected to be debated.

But Christopher Sandrolini, the newly appointed Charge d' Affaires at the Barbados-based US Embassy that also covers the Eastern Caribbean, said despite the commitment of the United States to the Middle East peace process, Washington does not want to see regional governments agreeing to support the initiative outside of the already agreed framework.

"The United States for a very long time has been deeply committed to the peace process in the Middle East and specifically to careful detailed sincere negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis and we look forward to the establishment'of a Palestinian state.

Earlier this month Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conceded to a proposal by US President Barack Obama to return to the negotiating table with Palestine over a Palestinian state that follows the 1967 ceasefire lines demarcating the West Bank and Gaza.

But this concession appears fragile as Netanyahu is asking for, in exchange for the resumption of talks, an agreement by Palestine to retract their application before the UN for statehood and to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Sandrolini says it is against this back drop that Washington will be holding talks with regional government to ensure that they do not commit themselves to an agreement that could derail an already tottering process.

"We feel that it is essential that that process be respected and because of that, despite our desire to see a successful Palestinian state, we want to be sure it doesn't get derailed by other processes and for that reason we will be talking to the government here as we are to governments around the world opposing any premature effort to recognize a state outside of those negotiated frameworks, Sandrolini told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

Maliki has already said that his government is prepared to return to the discussion table after the UN vote next month, since he believes that that a positive outcome of the UN vote would give his country more leverage at the discussions.

"We would be able to discuss them, on equal footing, the moment the United Nations recognize the state of Palestine.

"Because until this moment they (Israelis) were not treating us fairly, because you know the Israelis always with hegemony controlling the discussion and if they don't like an issue, they just walk away and say 'I don't want to listen to you' and they leave.

Maliki says he is preparing to attend the meeting of CARICOM- Central American Common Markekt (SICA) carded for El Salvador later this month to present his country's case. He is hoping that his presentation will serve to strengthen Caribbean and Latin American support at the September UN meeting.

"I hope I would be able to attend myself, such meeting, in order to present our case in front of all the leaders of CARICOM and SICA and for them really to debate and deliberate the issue and to take a positive decision collectively.

Latest Stories