Ready to help Israel, Palestine in case of ceasefire: US
UNITED NATIONS, May 17: The United States told the United Nations Security Council on Sunday it has made clear to Israel, the Palestinians and others that it is ready to offer support "should the parties seek a ceasefire" to end the worsening violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.
"The United States has been working tirelessly through diplomatic channels to try to bring an end to
this conflict," US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the 15-member council. "Because we believe Israelis and Palestinians equally have a right to live in safety and security."
As the Security Council held its first public meeting - after two private briefings last week - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel's campaign in Hamas Islamist-run Gaza was continuing at "full force".
Washington - a strong ally of Israel - has been isolated at the United Nations over its objection to a public statement by the Security Council on the worst violence between Israel and the Palestinians in years because it worries it could harm behind-the-scenes diplomacy.
"We call upon the US to shoulder its responsibilities, take a just position, and together with most of the international community support the Security Council in easing the situation," said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who chaired Sunday's meeting because China is president for May.
China, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, said the United States had blocked its efforts for "strong action" -- and invited Israelis and Palestinians to come negotiate in rising the Asian power.
"Regrettably, simply because of the obstruction of one country, the Security Council hasn't been able to speak with one voice," Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. "We call upon the United States to shoulder its due responsibilities."
"In all these engagements with Israeli officials, the Palestinian Authority, and all regional partners, the United States has made clear that we are prepared to lend our support and good offices should the parties seek a ceasefire," Thomas-Greenfield said. -AFP