The State of Palestine remains unrecognized by numerous UN members and holds non-member observer status at the organization since November 2012. The US is one of roughly 50 states that refuse to recognize Palestine, demanding it engage in negotiations with Israel to achieve a lasting peace.

In a statement on October 16, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley slammed a recent decision by the UN General Assembly to allow Palestine to chair the coalition Group of 77. The partially-recognized state will lead the UN-based coalition of developing nations starting in January 2019.

Washington has been a consistent critic of the Palestinians over their methods of reaching a lasting peace with Israel. The US opposed the designation of the partially-recognized state as a UN non-member observer in 2012.

In her statement Haley noted that the US had voted against the decision because it considers such a move harmful to achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. She also recalled that the State of Palestine is not a full member to the UN and is not recognized by all of its member states, including the US.

“The Palestinians are not a UN Member State or any state at all. […] Today’s UN mistake undermines the prospects for peace by encouraging the illusion held by some Palestinian leaders that they can advance their goals without direct peace negotiations,” Haley said.

The US envoy added that Palestine is not “eligible to be admitted as a UN Member State.”

The Group of 77, a coalition of developing countries at the UN that was founded in 1964 and now includes134 states has announced that it has chosen the State of Palestine as its chair starting in 2019. The coalition is currently led by Egypt.

Contributed by Israel Today