Kabul, Afghanistan – Following comments made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement:
“Peace in the region will only come through face-to-face negotiations between the elected representatives of the Israelis and the Palestinians. These negotiations should restart at once without preconditions. The recently floated idea from the Palestinian Authority of asking the United Nations General Assembly, with its history of bias against Israel, to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state is an abdication of responsibility and could lead to greater conflict. By walking away from negotiations, President Abbas raises the danger of a return to violence as a tactic, likely to be disastrous for both Israel and the Palestinian people.”
Senator Gillibrand is in Afghanistan and Pakistan this week with Senate colleagues meeting with U.S. troops, General David Petraeus, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and others.