US Ambassador to United Nations says "calculations" by Israelis, Palestinians preventing peace talks

Susan Rice, the US' Ambassador to the United Nations, believes "the absolute only way" to achieve a Palestinian state is direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. The Palestinian proposal for statehood before the UN represents "a dangerous diversion on the path toward a negotiated settlement."

Michael Bonfiglie / The Christian Science Monitor
US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice listens to a question from a reporter at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor on Sept. 12. Rice joined the breakfasts ahead of the United States' push to head off a proposal for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations General Assembly.

UN Ambassador Susan Rice is the United States' permanent representative to the United Nations. She was the guest speaker at the Sept. 12 Monitor breakfast in Washington.

The Obama foreign-policy team's accomplishments at the UN:

"We've gotten strong cooperation on a very important set of issues ... the stiffest [UN] sanctions to date against Iran and North Korea, renewed momentum to stop proliferation of nuclear weapons ... vital [UN] assistance for important operations in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Efforts in Congress to limit US participation in the UN as well as financial support for the world body:

"[The] Obama administration view on those approaches has consistently been to oppose them because they are self-defeating and because they don't work."

The Palestine Liberation Organization's plans to seek statehood recognition at the UN meetings:

"The absolute only way that we can achieve ... Israel's stated goal and the Palestinians' long-stated goal of a Palestinian state and two states living side by side in peace and security is through direct negotiations.... Recourse to the United Nations is a dangerous diversion on the path toward a negotiated settlement."

Why Israelis and Palestinians have not resumed peace talks:

"That is not the result of a lack of American engagement, energy, or leadership.... That is the product of the calculations of the two parties."

US policy toward Iran:

"Our principal goal [has been] ... to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear-weapons capability.... We now have on the books a very strong United Nations sanctions regime.... We have seen lots of evidence that the global sanctions regime has been biting inside of Iran."

Recently deteriorating relations between Israel and Turkey, two key US allies:

"It is time for things to cool down and for both sides to act on their interests in trying to see if there is a way to get back to an improved relationship."

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