Looks like Abbas has lost?
(Reuters) – A key U.N. Security Council committee could not reach consensus on whether Palestine should be accepted as a U.N. member state, according to a draft report obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.
“The committee was unable to make a unanimous recommendation to the Security Council,” said the report of the committee on admitting new member states, circulated to all 15 Security Council members on Tuesday.
The four-page draft appears to confirm that the Palestinian move to join the world body as a full member, which Western envoys said was doomed from the outset due to a U.S. vow to veto it if it ever came to a vote in the council, is set to fail due to the council’s unresolvable deadlock.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full U.N. membership for the state of Palestine on September 23.
Although it is the 193-nation General Assembly that makes decisions on U.N. membership, an applicant state needs prior Security Council approval before it can go to the assembly.
Both the United States and Israel say the Palestinian push in the United Nations is unilateral and an attempt to bypass peace talks, whose resumption Abbas has conditioned on an Israeli freeze of settlement activity in occupied territory.
The Palestinians say those negotiations have failed to bring them closer to the independent state they seek in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. They say it is time to try a different approach.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to comment on the draft report. But she said the “Quartet” of Middle East peace mediators will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials on November 14 in Jerusalem, their latest effort to jump-start the stalled peace process.
The Quartet is made up of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.
PALESTINIANS FAIL TO SECURE MINIMUM OF VOTES
The Palestinians can still call for a vote in the Security Council, but U.N. diplomats said on condition of anonymity that it is not clear whether they will do so given that Washington will likely not even need to use its veto to block it.