Palestine application takes hit in Security Council
UNITED NATIONS – After a week of enthusiastic support in many circles for the Palestinian application for United Nations membership, the Obama White House has succeeded, at least temporarily, in slowing down the bandwagon.
The standing ovation given to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the General Assembly has begun to "fade," admit U.N. diplomats.
Yesterday, the Security Council credentials committee, which had been given the application for "review and examination" earlier in the week, decided to continue its review and update the full Council in two weeks.
Only 6 members of the 15-member committee voted to send the application to the full council for immediate consideration. Nine votes were needed.
In essence, the next two weeks will be the scene of private lobbying by both sides, but with the U.S. pledge to veto the application if necessary, the chances of Security Council approval "are slim," say diplomats.
The White House strategy had been to avoid a formal veto by stalling the Palestinian drive for nine yes votes. Any proposal receiving less than nine votes would automatically be defeated and no veto needed.
Less than nine votes might also make the Palestinian Authority, or PA, reluctant to move the matter to the General Assembly.
A visibly frustrated PA observer, Riyadh Monsour, left the U.N., saying only, "We hope that the experts will deal with this part of the exercise in a short amount of time so that the next president of the Security Council, Nigeria, is able to report to the council the work of the experts."
Oct. 1, 2011