The United States said on Wednesday it opposed a proposed UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and the Hamas leadership in Gaza, reiterating that this could interfere with the Biden administration’s efforts to end hostilities.
France drafted the resolution after the United States blocked at least four attempts to have the Council issue a press release calling for an end to the violence, giving the same reason. Diplomats said all other council members supported the statement.
A press release requires the agreement of all 15 council members, but a resolution requires at least nine “yes” votes and no veto from the United States or any of the other four permanent members.
A French government spokesperson said “very intense discussions” were taking place with the United States on Wednesday over the proposed resolution, which UN diplomats say calls for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid for Gaza.
But a spokesperson for the US mission to the United Nations said later today: “We have been clear and consistent that we are focusing on the intensive diplomatic efforts underway to end the violence and that we will not support actions which we believe undermine de-escalation efforts. “
The spokesperson commented on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the discussions.
The White House said in a phone call Wednesday, President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he expected “significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire. fire”. But Netanyahu later said he was “determined to continue this operation until its goal is achieved.”
It was not clear if, or when, France would circulate the draft resolution to all Council members or call for a vote, which would likely lead to a US veto.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi held talks in Paris earlier this week and they had a meeting Tuesday with Jordan’s King Abdullah II via video conference on the conflict in Gaza. In a joint statement, France, Egypt and Jordan said they “called on the parties to immediately agree on a ceasefire” and would work with the UN and other partners to ensure humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.
The 193-member General Assembly has scheduled a public meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Thursday and a dozen ministers are expected to attend in person.
Assembly spokesman Brenden Varma said on Wednesday dozens of countries were due to speak in the one-day session, but no statements or resolutions were expected.
The ambassadors of Niger, which chairs the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Algeria, the current president of the UN Arab Group, called for Thursday’s meeting.