President Obama is sending two Middle East envoys back to the region Tuesday for a final stab at dissuading the Palestinians from seeking a UN vote on statehood.
The United States and Israel may insist that a Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations next week will be disastrous for Middle East peace prospects, but Palestinian officials are painting the move in much more positive hues.
In a region where the Arab Spring is in full bloom, they argue, the Palestinian leadership has to offer its people something – especially with the peace process President Obama re-launched a year ago all but dead.
“This [UN move] is aimed at preserving the two-state solution,” said Maen Rashid Areikat, the Palestinian ambassador to Washington. “We are trying to keep hope alive among the Palestinian people that this [two-state solution] is going to be feasible.”
Speaking at a Monitor breakfast Tuesday, Mr. Areikat said that while the UN bid for statehood is not aimed at souring relations with the US, the Obama administration should consider how opposing the Palestinians’ statehood initiative will come across among freedom-seeking Arabs and around the world.