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Kerry seeks to avert UN Palestinian showdown

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference in Bogota, on December 12, 2014US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday he hoped to head off an end-of-year showdown at the United Nations over Palestinian statehood in meetings next week in Europe. The Palestinians are carrying out a major campaign aiming to submit to the UN Security Council a draft resolution setting out a two- or three-year timetable for an end to Israeli occupation. They have said they would like to see the text submitted before the end of the year, prompting a surprise meeting next Monday in Rome between Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Palestinians’ UN push comes amid tensions in the region and as a wave of European countries have seen parliamentary votes urging their governments to recognize a state of Palestine.

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