WASHINGTON--President Obama plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when they are both in New York for the UN General Assembly session, with the bi-lateral coming as the Palestinians are expected to press the UN for a vote on statehood--a moved opposed by the U.S. and Israel.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday at a briefing the Obama/Netanyahu date has not been set "but we believe the two leaders will meet."
Carney added, "We remain where we were on the inadvisability of unilateral actions that will bring the Palestinians no closer to the statehood they seek. And we generally -- as a rule, this administration, this President, supports the things that move the parties -- actions that move the parties closer together, and do not support the things that move them further apart. That is our guiding principle, if you will.
"And we believe that the only way the Israelis and Palestinians will achieve a two-state solution that's fair and equitable to both sides, that allows for a Palestinian state, that allows for a secure Jewish state of Israel, is through direct negotiations. And that is the focus of all the diplomatic efforts that we are engaged in."
Carney, asked if the administration requested Britain or any other members of the Security Council to veto the Palestinian initiative if it goes ahead--and about other lobbying efforts-- said, "Well, I think that there have been intense diplomatic negotiations about the right way forward. We firmly believe that the right way forward, the way to achieve the very goal that the Palestinians seek, is through direct negotiations -- in fact, it is the only way to achieve it -- and that actions that don't move the two parties closer to direct negotiations are counterproductive. We support those actions that move the two parties closer towards those negotiations -- negotiations which are the only path to the two-state solution that both sides desire."