'France, Britain expected to abstain from PA UNSC vote'

UN envoys say Colombia also expected to abstain if there were a UN Security Council vote on Palestinian Authority's bid for statehood.

By REUTERS,
November 4, 2011 04:50
1 minute read.
The United Nations Security Council [file]

UN Security Council_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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UN envoys said on Thursday that Britain, France and Colombia would abstain if there were a UN Security Council vote on the Palestinian Authority's bid for statehood.

Many UN diplomats believe the Palestinians would get only eight votes, and a meeting of council ambassadors on Thursday to review the issue produced no surprises, envoys said. A council resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes to pass.

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The envoys said Russia, China, Brazil, India, Lebanon and South Africa supported the Palestinian Authority bid, and the United States opposed it. Gabon and Nigeria, expected to support the Palestinians, and Germany and Portugal, expected to abstain, did not spell out their positions and Bosnia did not speak.

Bosnia is also thought likely to abstain because its Muslim, Serb and Croat collective presidency cannot agree.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Thursday that the Palestinians will not accept anything less than full United Nations membership and do not want an upgrade to an observer state in the world body.

Riyad al-Malki's remarks suggested the Palestinians would not seek such an upgrade once their bid for full state membership meets the fate widely expected for it - failure because of opposition from the United States, among other governments.

"We do not want, after all of these struggles, sacrifices, and efforts by the entire Palestinian people, to accept an observer state in the United Nations. We will not accept less than we deserve: a full member state," he said.



"At this moment, we are not concerned with applying for membership for Palestine in the rest of the international organizations," he told journalists in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. "The official Palestinian position is to concentrate only on the request for membership which we presented to the United Nations," Malki said.

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