Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bill Clinton: Palestinian UN bid won't change reality; US should try and 'contain negative fallout.'

Former US President Bill Clinton warned of the "negative consequences" of the Palestinian UN bid and said that the reality on the ground would not change after the vote and that both sides would have to return to the negotiating table.

Speaking to NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, former president Clinton said that the United States must "contain the fallout" from the Palestinian UN bid expected later this week, adding that "when this is over the underlying reality won't change, and we still believe there should be a Palestinian state and we still believe that there should be cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors."

"Above all the Palestinian bid was an act of frustration by the Palestinians, and what I think we've all got to do is contain the negative fallout."

"The Palestinians knew that they have to negotiate borders and securities with the Israelis, they're just frustrated because they feel they have provided a secure environment, they have reinforced cooperation with the Israelis, they have produced a growing economy in the West Bank, they have renounced violence…and there's been no progress."

"So when they get the vote, which will be extremely positive, since most of the rest of the world thinks the Israelis have made an error not being more forthcoming with the government, and the U.S. vetoes it, which we will do because we're committed to Israel's security and that the idea that the two parties have to negotiate a solution".

"So I don't know what's going to happen, I just know that this is one of those deals where we're either going to go forward or fall back and I favor going forward, I don't think the fundamental realities have changed in 20 years."