This morning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the US “should not prevent any nation form achieving its goals.”The announcement comes in the wake of heavy Israeli pressure upon Nigeria to abstain from voting in favor of a Palestinian State in the UN Security council this week. Prime Minister Netanyahu met with the Nigerian president this week and attempted to persuade him to join the US in voting against such a move. US President Barak Obama has also attempted to persuade the Palestinians from requesting statehood by encouraging renewed negotiations.
According to Lavrov, the heavy pressure the US has placed upon the Palestinians to not take their case to the UN is counter-productive. He said, “We want negotiations to continue, but neither side is prepared to do so. We consider it to be theft if we do not allow the Palestinians the right to request statehood from the Security Council.”Russia is one of several powers who support the Palestinian position, together with China and other members of the Security Council who are part of the Arab World.
Since Sunday, Israel has been trying to thwart the Palestinian bid for statehood by lobbying UN members and even having Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak before the General Assembly. The Israeli move is designed to prevent a Palestinian state, which Israelis claim cannot exist so long as it support terrorism and does not have its own infrastructure, as well as prevent the US from having to use its power of veto, a move that will potentially weaken the US in diplomatic circles around the world.
In addition to lobbying UN ambassadors, high ranking officials such as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, have been travelling the globe with the same message. Lieberman was quoted this morning during a three day trip to Canada that the Palestinians are not ready for a state and that they should wait “until there is a single security apparatus and not small armed groups.”
The US has also been attempting to dissuade the Palestinians, but has used threats of removing economic support instead of lobbying other nations to simply vote “No” this week if and when it occurs.