Two European States Reportedly to Abstain in Palestinian UN Vote

The vote counting continues for the Palestinian United Nations membership bid, with  another round of discussions on the application expected next week. CNN reported on their website that France and Britain both told a UN Security Council meeting they intend to abstain in the vote, according to UN diplomats.

While that’s not as strong-sounding as the “no” vote expected from the US, it will have the same effect on the Palestinian application. The bid needs nine of the 15 Security Council members to vote “yes,” with no vetoes, in order to move on to the UN General Assembly for a final vote. 

Even if the Palestinians get the nine yes votes needed in the Security Council, the US is expected to veto as one of five members with such powers in the 15-member Council. The US is concerned about the Palestinians achieving statehood recognition outside of a peace deal with Israel. The Americans have also been working with other nations to try and revive peace talks between the sides.

The French and British announcements came during a closed-door meeting of the Committee on the Admission of New Members on Thursday, with another meeting expected to come next week on November 11. Neither European nation was expected to vote yes.

The Palestinians applied for full UN member status on September 23. The application then went to the Security Council, where it has been reviewed by experts.  The date for the vote by the Security Council is still unclear.

(By Staff,, November 4, 2011)