“But it’s their sovereign decision to make, how to proceed,” she added.
Nuland noted that if a vote goes ahead as planned in the UN General Assembly this week, the United States will vote against the Palestinian request, which Washington regards as “a mistake.”
“We’re focused on a policy objective on the ground for the Palestinian people, for the people of Israel, which is to end up with two states that can live peacefully next to each other,” she said.
“Nothing in this action at the UN is going to take the Palestinians any closer to that … If there is a vote, we will vote ‘no’,” Nuland pointed out.
On Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris had long backed Palestinian ambitions for statehood, and would vote yes “out of a concern for coherency”.
Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas is due to ask the UN General Assembly in New York for an observer state status for Palestine on November 29.
On Sunday, Abbas said he was “fully confident” that Palestinians could win the majority vote and secure the upgrade.
Palestine sought full UN membership at the UN Security Council just over a year ago. However, the United States blocked the decision by using its veto power.
The bid for Palestine’s enhanced non-member state status needs a majority vote from the 193-member General Assembly to win, which critics expect to be tendered and to pass.
If the bid succeeds, it will grant Palestinians access to UN agencies and the International Criminal Court, where they can file official complaints against the Israeli regime.