Tags: gaza | ceasefire

U.S. Expects Gaza Ceasefire in 'Day or So'

Monday, 12 Jan 2009 01:46 PM

By Stewart Stogel

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

NEW YORK -- A senior State Department official tells Newsmax that he expects Israel and Hamas to implement a de-facto ceasefire soon.

Speaking on background, the U.S. official added, "the Israelis and Hamas know that they have to wrap this thing up, it cannot go on. We expect them to agree to a ceasefire in the next day or so."

The diplomat explained that the White House never expected an immediate ceasefire, even after the U.N. Security Council resolution passed Thursday called for just that.

"We never thought that everything would stop as soon as the council passed its resolution. It simply wasn't practical."

The unexpected vote, on which the U.S. abstained, "may have confused the Israelis, but we couldn't let the Arab foreign ministers leave empty handed," the State Department official added.

More than 17 foreign ministers from around the world had traveled on New York to confer on the Gaza crisis.

The Arabs had expected the U.S. to vote in favor of a resolution it helped write, but less than an hour before the Thursday evening council meeting, Rice told Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki she "had been instructed to abstain."

The U.S. source confirmed that Rice was instructed to change the vote in a personal phone call from President Bush. Bush had been in contact with the senior Israeli leadership throughout the day.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told an audience in the border city of Ashkelon that Rice was "left embarrassed" by Bush's action at the U.N.:

"He (Bush) immediately called the secretary of state and told her not to vote for it. She was left quite embarrassed."

While Rice may have felt embarrassed, Arabs privately heaped scorn on French Nicolas Sarkozy, who had been leading international efforts to broker a ceasefire.

According to the US official, Sarkozy wanted the Council to delay any vote for 24 hours so he could attend the meeting in NYC. France chairs the presidency of the UN body for the month of January.

"They (the Arabs) wanted a vote before Friday, their day of rest. They were quite angry and confused over the French request."

The final vote was 14-0-1 with Washington abstaining.

Now in its third week, with fighting still ranging, the Palestinian U.N. delegation was contemplating re-calling Arab foreign ministers to NYC for another emergency Council meeting.

"It is too soon for that," explained the American official. "We should see a ceasefire soon," he added.

He added that the White House is not likely to endorse any new U.N. action until Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon returns from the region.

Ban will leave for the Mid-East on Tuesday and not expected back in New York until at least the weekend.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Legal Immigrants Being Blocked in Latest Obamacare Glitch

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 14:27 PM

Legal immigrants, eligible for Obamacare, are running into problems when they try to sign up for coverage on HealthCare. . . .

Sperm Can Carry Ebola for 82 Days: WHO

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 12:40 PM

Sperm can carry the Ebola virus for at least 82 days, the World Health Organization said Friday, urging men recovering f . . .

Putin Says Russia Doing Fine in Face of Tumbling Crude Prices

Friday, 28 Nov 2014 12:32 PM

President Vladimir Putin said Russia will cope with the rout in crude oil after benchmark prices plunged to a four-year  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved