Israel upset over behavior of Qatar, Russia and China in Security Council

UN envoy Gillerman: Qatar has shown a mixture of weakness and submission.

May 23, 2006 10:35
1 minute read.
UN building 88

UN building 88. (photo credit: )

Israel's UN ambassador said he was greatly disappointed in the positions taken by Qatar, Russia and China on key Mideast issues in the Security Council and outlined a new campaign to try to curb "Israel-bashing" at the United Nations. Speaking with rare candor, Ambassador Dan Gillerman said Monday that Israel had hoped that Qatar would not be "another automatic whip for the Palestinians or the Arab group" when it joined the council in January - and it had hoped that Russia and China would take a tough stand against the nuclear ambitions of Iran, which has called for Israel's destruction. But he told leaders of B'nai Brith International that "Qatar has played a very counterproductive role so far as a member of the Security Council." "It has shown a mixture of weakness and submission which most people did not expect" given its friendship with the United States and wish to become closer to the West, Gillerman said. He accused Qatar of blocking council condemnation of the April 17 suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv restaurant that killed 11 people and several other initiatives, which he didn't disclose. "We hope there will be a change in the behavior and in the attitude which Qatar is showing," he said. Gillerman also accused Russia, China "and Qatar to a certain extent" of holding up a council resolution backed by the United States, Britain and France to pressure Iran to demonstrate its peaceful nuclear intentions by suspending uranium enrichment, which can be used in nuclear weapons. "We are ... dismayed and disappointed by the role which is being played by Russia and China which is actually stalling and delaying a resolution on Iran," he said. "We believe that as far as Iran's nuclear capability is concerned, time is of the essence and time indeed is running out." The question is not whether Iran will have a nuclear bomb in five or 10 years, Gillerman said, it is when Teheran will have the capability to have nuclear weapons and "that moment is months rather than years away."

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