WASHINGTON: Infuriated over Palestinian leaders' drive for statehood, the US on Friday warned them that they cannot achieve it by passing of a resolution at the United Nations and insisted that the best way to get it is through negotiations with Israel.
"The Palestinians will not, and cannot, achieve statehood through a declaration at the United Nations. It is a distraction, and it's counterproductive," the White House press secretary, Mr Jay Carney told mediapersons.
"That remains our position. We continue to be focused with great intensity on the need to get Israelis and Palestinians together again in direct negotiations, because that is the path towards a two-state solution and Palestinian statehood," he said.
The President, Mr Barack Obama, he said, believes that the only way to resolve the issues between the Palestinians and the Israelis and to ultimately create a Palestinian state is through direct negotiations.
US has threatened to veto any Palestinian application for full membership of the UN or go to the General Assembly for enhanced observer membership this month.
In San Francisco, the secretary of state, Ms Hillary Clinton warned Palestinians that their effort is shortsighted and cannot succeed, saying the road to peace and two states living side by side does not go through New York.
"It goes through Jerusalem and Ramallah," she said. "It is our absolute conviction that we need to get the parties back into negotiations on a direct face-to-face basis and that they have to be at that negotiating table working through the framework that President Obama laid out in May. That remains our focus. We are absolutely committed to pursuing that," Ms Clinton said.
The US ambassador to the UN, Ms Susan Rice, said that the move for statehood would set back prospects for real talks with Israel.
Meanwhile, a Chinese state-run newspaper on Friday warned of a spike in tensions in the Middle East if the United States vetoed the Palestinian bid for membership of the United Nations next week.
As peace talks with Israel stall, the Palestinian President,Mr Mahmud Abbas is expected to formally submit a request for UN membership next Friday, despite strong objections from Washington that the move would be "counter-productive."
"If the US chooses to fly in the face of world opinion and block the Palestine UN bid next week, not only will Israel become more isolated but tensions in the region will be heightened even more," said the China Daily.