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U.S. blocks UN Council statement on Gaza

 The United States on Tuesday blocked a UN Security Council statement on the Gaza conflict, arguing that it would have been “counter-productive” amid efforts to reach a ceasefire.

Russia had threatened to press for a full council resolution on the conflict if the Arab-proposed statement was blocked. That could have led to a veto clash with the United States.

But, with Egyptian-led truce efforts gathering pace, diplomats said Moscow’s initiative would be dropped, though the Russian mission made no immediate announcement.

The United States sent a letter to the 14 other council missions just before a Tuesday deadline for the statement to take effect, diplomats told AFP.

Diplomats quoted the US letter as saying the proposed resolution “failed to address the root cause” of the showdown between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers, which it said was rocket attacks into Israel.

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