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Crisis talks intensify to avoid Mideast diplomatic clash at UN

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Crisis talks intensify to avoid Mideast diplomatic clash at UN

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It is difficult diplomacy.

But with Mahmoud Abbas set to make his Palestinian statehood bid at the UN on Friday, efforts are intensifying to avoid a Security Council showdown

After France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, President Obama wil meet Abbas later today. He will urge him to drop the bid which Washington has reiterated it will veto.

“Right now, we could not be clearer that we have, for some time now, opposed Palestinian efforts to pursue statehood on a unilateral basis through the United Nations,” said US Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. “And it is the United States that is working very aggressively to make that case and make that clear to all the parties involved, including making clear that we would veto any actions in the Security Council.”

Obama will also meet Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, who has left Tel Aviv for the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. The US and Israel both say that only direct talks can lead to peace with the Palestinians.