Nikki Haley: ‘Palestine’ is not a state

“The Palestinians are not a U.N. member state or any state at all,” said Nikki Haley, reacting to a U.N. decision to give the “State of Palestine” more rights.

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

“The Palestinians are not a U.N. member state or any state at all,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Tuesday.

Haley made her remarks following a U.N. General Assembly vote granting Palestinians a special status that enables them to take the reins of the Group of 77 next year.

The Group of 77, which includes China, accounts for 80 percent of the world’s population and roughly two-thirds of all U.N. member states.

Haley said the U.N. should not have been able to make the move to grant Palestinians privileges reserved for full state members.

“Today’s U.N. mistake undermines the prospects for peace by encouraging the illusion held by some Palestinian leaders that they can advance their goals without direct peace negotiations,” Haley said in a statement. “In fact, today’s vote does nothing to help the Palestinian people.”

“The United States does not recognize a Palestinian state, notes that no such state has been admitted as a U.N. Member State, and does not believe that the Palestinians are eligible to be admitted as a U.N. Member State,” the statement said.

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Cohen had urged the assembly to vote against the resolution saying that “we cannot support efforts by the Palestinians to enhance their status outside of direct negotiations.”

However, the assembly disregarded U.S. and Israeli opposition and voted 146-to-3 with 15 abstentions to approve the resolution. Australia was the only other country to vote against it. Most Western European countries supported the measure while many East European countries abstained.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.