Former US official derides Palestinian UN effort

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- A former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says a Palestinian attempt to gain U.N. recognition with or without a peace agreement with Israel means "next to nothing" even if it succeeds.

The Bush administration U.N. envoy John Bolton says the General Assembly is certain to support the Palestinian effort. But he says it will be meaningless without approval in the Security Council, where it almost certainly faces a U.S. veto.

Visiting Israel on Friday, Bolton said Israel and the U.S. should "not to take it so seriously."

The Palestinian Authority plans to seek U.N. recognition in September after prolonged deadlock in peace talks.

Bolton is in Israel along with other members of the Friends of Israel Initiative, a group founded last year by a former Spanish prime minister.