UNSC may vote on Palestinian statehood in early November
This article not only contains an update to the situation, but some of the lingering issues are also clarified:
The Palestinian quest for UN membership is likely to come to a head on or around Nov. 11, when Security Council ambassadors plan a final meeting to decide their response, diplomats said on Wednesday.
The date represents a delay in dealing with the Palestinian application, submitted by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sept. 23, amid hopes that indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks scheduled for next week could get a peace process off the ground.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin on Wednesday, thanking her for Colombia's opposition to the Palestinian statehood bid.
Membership is formally approved by the 193-nation General Assembly but that requires a Security Council recommendation.
"The 11th (of November) will probably be the end of the Security Council consideration process, one way or the other," a senior council diplomat said following a meeting of envoys on Tuesday that agreed to a timetable. "If the Palestinians want a vote, there will be a vote."
International mediators will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials on Oct. 26 in Jerusalem to try to revive direct peace talks.
Many analysts, however, think a breakthrough is unlikely, with the Palestinians continuing to reject direct talks unless Israel halts settlement activities and Israel refusing to do so.
While the Palestinian application looks certain to fail in the council, Abbas has made a major effort to attract nine votes in support -- which would oblige the United States to use its veto and be seen by Palestinians as a moral victory. To pass, council resolutions need nine votes and no vetoes.
Diplomats currently expect eight council members to back the Palestinians and six to vote against or abstain. There is uncertainty over Bosnia, the three members of whose collective presidency -- Muslim, Serb and Croat -- disagree over which way to vote, diplomats say.
If the application fails in the council, the Palestinians could ask the General Assembly to upgrade their status to "nonmember state" observer, which would not require council endorsement. That would imply UN recognition of statehood and could help the Palestinians join international bodies.