US reacts to Palestinian name change

US reacts to Palestinian name change
# 08 January 2013 03:11 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The United States has reacted to President Mahmoud Abbas' decree to have the Palestinian National Authority be renamed to the "State of Palestine", calling it a "bad idea". The US State Department insisted on Monday that statehood could only be achieved through a negotiated settlement with Israel, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, "Our policy on continuing to call it the Palestinian Authority, until such time that there is a negotiated agreement for a state with borders, will not change. We’re certainly going to tell them that it’s a bad idea and it doesn’t change anything for the Palestinian people. And if they really want to change things for the Palestinian people, they need to get back to the table."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree on Sunday, ordering the use of the name of State of Palestine on all official stamps. This includes identity cards, driving licenses, official documents, passports and official letterheads.

It was the first official step taken toward statehood, since the UN General Assembly granted the Palestinians an upgraded status of a non-member observer state in November last year. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his opposition to the move on Sunday, saying a Palestinian state can only be born through a peace treaty with Israel.

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