Washington - US Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter yesterday to the Presidents of Colombia, Panama, and Costa Rica encouraging them to oppose any resolution that may come before the UN General Assembly seeking to impose a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state before the UN. In the letter, the Senators wrote:

FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER:

We write regarding a matter of great interest to the United States and many of our constituents: the achievement of lasting peace in the Middle East.

Though it has proven to be an elusive goal, we are confident that long-lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians is achievable and that direct, bilateral negotiations between the sides offer the best hope of realizing it. Therefore, we are deeply concerned about efforts by the Palestinian leadership to seek unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood during the upcoming meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

As you may know, the U.S. Senate recently approved by Unanimous Consent a Resolution declaring that persistence by the Palestinian Authority to circumvent direct negotiations will have implications for continued American aid. Therefore, a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN is not in the best interest of the Palestinian people or conducive to the ultimate objective of two democratic states living side by side in peace and security.

We commend [Colombia/Panama/Costa Rica]'s steadfast commitment to a peaceful end to the conflict and support for bilateral negotiations as the vehicle to achieve long-lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. We encourage you to oppose any resolution that may come before the UN General Assembly seeking to impose a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. As Chairman and Ranking Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, we look forward to working together to advance our nations' shared vision of a forward-looking Hemisphere of democratic institutions and prosperity for all.

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