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Friday
Feb182011

Will Obama Administration Veto UN Resolution Critical of Israel?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration finds itself in a diplomatic jam.

It is possible that later Friday it will have to decide whether or not to break from its steadfast support for Israel in the United Nations and support a measure in the Security Council that nearly reiterates its own policy.

The source of the quandary is a resolution introduced at the Security Council last month by Lebanon and backed by more than a hundred countries, that would condemn Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank as "illegal."

The United States, seeking to avoid a step it believes would further complicate efforts to revive stalled peace talks, has since scrambled to prevent the resolution from being put to a vote.

Led by the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, the United States has proposed alternatives, including a weaker so-called Presidential Statement that it says would be non-binding and also balance the criticism by mentioning rocket attacks into Israel from Gaza, according to a U.S. official.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters on Thursday that the U.S. is searching for a solution, but wouldn't say what.

"We are working with our partners in the Security Council, with our friends in the region, to find a consensus way forward that is consistent with our overall approach.  There are a lot of rumors flying around and I'm not going to get into any specifics at this time," she said.

U.N. diplomats tell ABC News the Palestinians have to decide soon whether to accept the alternative, otherwise the Lebanese are prepared to put the original resolution to a vote on Friday afternoon.  If the resolution comes to a vote, the United States would have to decide whether to veto it or abstain and let it pass.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio