Global Market Data
Global News Journal
Pakistan: Now or Never?
Front Row Washington
The Great Debate
Personal Finance Video
Life & Culture
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Warning: Graphic content Full Article
Apple expected to unveil new iPhone next week
Analysis: Pakistan's double-game: treachery or strategy?
UPDATE 4-Greece to face inspectors, Merkel hints at bailout change
Greece to face inspectors, Merkel hints at bailout
First Boeing Dreamliner arrives in fortress Japan
Particles recorded moving faster than light: CERN
House unexpectedly defeats spending bill
UPDATE 1-Particles found to break speed of light
Rihanna's "inappropriate" outfit halts music video
Tue, Sep 27 2011
Southern lights provide heavenly view from space
Tue, Sep 27 2011
Is technology killing jobs?
Mon, Sep 26 2011
Council takes first step on Palestinian U.N. bid
Palestinians caused settler car crash deaths: Israel
Egypt condemns Israeli plan to expand settlements
Analysis & Opinion
Why FHFA IG report doesn’t mean big new liability for banks
Who fills the global power vacuum?
United Nations »
Palestine's President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 66th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 23, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS |
Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:38am EDT
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday took its first step on the Palestinian application to join the United Nations by handing it to a committee that will review and assess it in the coming weeks.
The standing committee on the admission of new members to the world body is comprised of all 15 council members. Normally, the review period for a membership application is a maximum of 35 days, but Western diplomats say this limit can be waived and the process could theoretically drag on.
Western diplomats on the council say the Palestinian U.N. bid is doomed to failure due to U.S. opposition. But the chief Palestinian delegate to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, welcomed the council's move as a first step toward eventual U.N. recognition of Palestinian statehood.
"We are grateful to the Security Council for moving decisively and clearly on our application," he told reporters after the council meeting. "The process is moving forward step by step, and we hope that the Security Council will shoulder its responsibility and approve our application."
He reiterated that the Palestinians hoped the process would not take too long. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who delivered the Palestinian application to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, has said he wants the review over within weeks.
The standing committee will hold its first meeting on Friday.
Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor repeated the Israeli position that the only way the Palestinians will get U.N. membership and statehood is through direct negotiations with the Israelis on a comprehensive peace agreement.
"A Palestinian state, a real Palestinian state, a viable Palestinian state, will not be achieved (by) imposing things from the outside but only in direct negotiations," he said. "There are no shortcuts."
Israel vehemently opposes the Palestinian U.N. bid, saying it is an attempt to delegitimize it. The Palestinian application calls for recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Palestinians pulled out of moribund peace talks a year ago after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on Israeli settlements on territory the Palestinians want for a future state.
Israel has occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since the 1967 Middle East war.
Israel on Tuesday announced plans to build 1,100 settlement homes in the West Bank, eliciting condemnations from the United States and European Union.
Mansour also condemned the Israeli announcement.
The United States has pledged to veto the Palestinian bid, which needs council approval in order to go to the U.N. General Assembly for confirmation. So far, Western diplomats say, the Palestinians have only six certain votes on their side in the 15-member council.
Security Council resolutions need nine votes in favor and no vetoes from the five permanent members in order to pass.
Some Western envoys said they were unclear what the council's seldom-convoked membership committee would be able to do with the Palestinian application, given that the council's divisions will be replicated on the committee.
Most Security Council committees work on the basis of consensus. When the committee last convened in July to consider South Sudan's membership application it was able to wrap up its work in two days as no country was opposed.
The bitterly contested Palestinian issue will be very different. One envoy suggested the committee might ultimately have to pass it back to the full council.
(Additional reporting by Patrick Worsnip; Editing by Will Dunham)
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Be the first to comment on reuters.com.
Add yours using the box above.
Social Stream (What's this?)
Back to top
New York Legal
Support & Contact
Advertise With Us
Connect with Reuters
Our Flagship financial information platform incorporating Reuters Insider
An ultra-low latency infrastructure for electronic trading and data distribution
A connected approach to governance, risk and compliance
Our next generation legal research platform
Our global tax workstation
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.