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Israeli defense chief: UN vote on Palestinians won't have a major impact

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says the Palestinian push for recognition by the United Nations is a bad move, but he also calls it a symbolic act that will have no major impact on any aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship.

Several key countries, including France, have already announced they would support the move to elevate the Palestinians from the status of U.N. observer to nonmember observer state.

Speaking at the Pentagon after meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Barak said the U.N. vote will do nothing to promote a viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. But he also said the vote alone will not have a major influence on events.

The more important issue, he said, is opening direct peace negotiations.

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