Palestinians pursue UN bid despite deadlock

Palestinian UN envoy says leadership "determined" to seek membership despite deadlocked report from Security Council.

    Palestinian envoy, Riyad Mansour, said the Palestinians will continue their bid for full UN membership [EPA]

    The Palestinian leadership remains "determined" to pursue UN membership even though its bid has hit deadlock at the UN Security Council, its UN envoy has said.

    Riyad Mansour said the Palestinian leadership would "quickly" decide its next step after the UN Security Council's membership committee adopted a report on Friday saying it was unable to reach a common position on whether to recognise a Palestinian state.

    The application for full statehood at the UN was made by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on September 23.

    The US has threatened to veto the bid at any full Security Council vote and member nations have made it clear that it would not get the required nine votes out of 15 to approve membership.

    Eight countries on the council have openly declared support for the Palestinian bid or are likely to back it. Key European powers Britain and France have said they would abstain. Germany and others would be likely to follow.

    If the Palestinian delegation chooses to force a vote without securing nine votes, Washington would not need to use its veto power to block it.

    Heading into Friday's talks, German ambassador Peter Wittig said it was clear the Palestinians had no majority backing for membership.

    "We think the Palestinians should now weigh their options and reconsider what to do," Wittig said.

    Mansour told reporters, "We will consult with our friends, intensify our efforts and we are dead determined to succeed in this exercise and I believe that we will."

    A draft report of the committee, which includes all 15 council members, detailed the deadlock among council members.

    Now that the committee has formally approved it, the issue will revert back to the Security Council.

    Portugal's UN ambassador, Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral, Security Council president for November, said there was no plan for a full council meeting where a vote could be held.

    "I will be consulting other members of the council, other interested parties and we will decide the way forward," Cabral told reporters.

    Abbas is to meet Arab League representatives next week and some kind of decision on whether to seek a Security Council vote, or observer status in a UN General Assembly vote, is expected after that.

    Not serious about peace

    Meanwhile Abbas said on Friday from Tunis, where he was on an official visit, that the US opopsition to the Palestinian UN membership showed Washington was not serious about brokering peace.

    "They need to be more serious in their role as mediators between us and the Israelis," he said, adding that he was due to meet a senior US official on Saturday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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