By Elise Labott at the State Department and Kevin Flower in Jerusalem
The top two U.S. officials dealing with Middle East peace talks, the special envoy for Middle East peace David Hale and National Security Council’s Dennis Ross, are headed back to the region, US officials tell CNN.
The American move comes the same day a senior Palestinian official said the Palestinian Authority will seek international recognition for statehood in the United Nation’s Security Council.
“We are going to the UN and to the Security Council and we will ask for full membership for a Palestinian state in the borders of 1967," said Palestine Liberation Organization official Mohammed Shtayyeh in a briefing Tuesday with reporters.
The declarative statement from Shtayyeh comes amidst various reports that the Palestinian Authority would limit its quest for international recognition to the United Nations General Assembly where the Palestinian bid is expected to win a commanding majority of votes.
Taking the issue of UN membership to the Security Council would put the Palestinian Authority on a collision course with the Obama administration which has pledged to veto the move and warned Palestinian officials that it could lead to a reduction in American aid.
Shtayyeh said that recent discussions with the European Union and Quartet of Middle East peace makers (the UN, EU, Russia, and the United States) had yielded no serious proposal for the resumptions of talks with Israel.