Friday, September 30, 2011

UNSC Holds First Meeting On PA Statehood Bid

UN panel holds first meeting on Palestinian statehood bid

A UN Security Council panel on admitting new members to the United Nations met on Friday for the first time on the Palestinian Authority's bid to join the world body as Palestinians lobbied council members for support.

Lebanese UN ambassador says committee unanimously agreed to continue meeting at expert level; Palestinians say they have 8 of 9 necessary votes, plan to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia.

After the closed-door meeting of the council's standing committee on admitting new members, which comprises all 15 council members, Lebanese UN Ambassador Nawaf Salam said the committee unanimously agreed to continue meeting at the expert level next week.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al Malki said Thursday that he would soon visit Bosnia, while PA President Mahmoud Abbas would visit Colombia and Portugal in October, as part of efforts to secure the necessary nine votes in the UN Security Council to pass a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state as a full member in the world body, The Telegraph reported.

Bosnia, Colombia and Portugal are three of the 15 nations currently sitting on the UN Security Council that must make a determination on the Palestinian statehood issue.

Malki added that Abbas will also visit Honduras and the Dominican Republic while on his Latin American swing, and the PA president was also scheduled to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on October 6.

All of this could be moot assuming the U.S. stands firm and exercises their veto option which would effectively kill this effort.

Previous news has indicated that the U.S. would prefer not to use this option and the only way to accomplish that is to somehow ensure that Abbas doesn't gain the necessary 9 vote majority. Presently it is difficult to know if the 9 votes can be gathered by Abbas and the PA.

If indeed, the PA does gain the 9 vote majority it will be interesting to see if the U.S. will actually implement the veto option.

This entire scenario may become more and more interesting over the next two weeks.

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