US 'could withdraw funding from UN if Palestine state is recognised'

US 'could withdraw funding from UN if Palestine state is recognised'

Even so, Republicans in the US Congress are promising to react aggressively to any approval of statehood. Two congressmen have already vowed to initiate bills to withdraw UN funding in the House of Representatives.

Such a development could be devastating to the UN. The US provides almost a quarter of its $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion) annual budget, making a yearly contribution of almost $600 million (£375 million).

Speaking at an event in Washington, Miss Rice said the Obama administration was devoting "extraordinary efforts and energy" to restarting middle-eastern peace talks so that a vote in September could be avoided.

On the prospect of it being approved, she said: "This would be exceedingly politically damaging in our domestic context, as you can well imagine.

"And I cannot frankly think of a greater threat to our ability to maintain financial and political support for the United Nations in Congress than such an outcome".

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