WASHINGTON – The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Monday for a preliminary discussion of last week's Palestinian application for full UN membership, a move seen as certain to fail.
Diplomats said Monday's meeting was not intended to produce any decisions, but could give early clues to the balance of forces within the divided 15-nation body on the application submitted on Friday by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
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The Palestinian observer to the UN Riyad Mansour told reporters: "We hope the process will end within a few weeks and no longer."
Palestinian observer to the UN Riyad Mansour (Photo: AFP)
Mansour added that should the UN Security Council decision be vetoed, the Palestinians would consider alternative options, including submitting a request before the UN General Assembly for non-member state observer status.
Israel's ally the United States has vowed to use its veto to reject the application but if the Palestinians can muster nine votes in favor -- the number needed to pass a resolution absent a veto -- they would score a moral victory.
- For full coverage of the PA's statehood bid click here
If they fail to do so, Washington would avoid the need to veto the application, a move that would bring diplomatic embarrassment and possibly spark anti-American protests in the Arab world.
Only six countries on the council appear certain to vote for Palestinian membership. The four European Union countries are expected to either abstain or vote against, while Bosnia, Colombia, Gabon and Nigeria have made no definitive statements and have been courted by both Israel and the Palestinians.
Later this week, the Security Council is expected to set up a committee to look into the application. A month or more could pass before the council is ready to vote.
Reuters contributed to the report
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