The United States will use its veto right to block the Palestinian bid to win United Nations recognition of statehood should it come to a vote before the UN Security Council, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
"It should not come as a shock to anyone in this room that the U.S. opposes a move in New York by the Palestinians to try to establish a state that can only be achieved through negotiations," Nuland told journalists on Thursday.
"So, yes, if something comes to a vote in the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. will veto," she said.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas confirmed on Thursday his plans to ask the UN to recognize an independent Palestinian state. Abbas said he was planning to submit the application on September 19 and expected it to be formally lodged with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on September 21 or 22. "We have an application in hand. Everything is ready," he said.
But Nuland said it was still uncertain whether the Palestinian bid would come to a vote, adding that U.S. diplomats were still trying to persuade the Palestinians to quit their plans and return to negotiations with Israel.