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Security Council meets to discuss UN statehood bid

Sept. 30, 2011 3:48 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 1, 2011 4:45 P.M.)
UNITED NATIONS (Ma'an) -- The UN Security Council's admissions committee held its first meeting Friday to review and assess the PLO's application for full UN membership.

The standing committee on the admission of new members to the world body is comprised of all 15 Security Council members, who are being represented by their UN ambassadors.

The council first discussed the situation in Somalia before recessing ahead of talks about the Palestine statehood application.

On Thursday, the foreign minister in the West Bank government said that eight Security Council members were guaranteed to vote in favor of the bid for full membership of the United Nations.

“The Palestinian Authority is now working to secure the ninth vote,” Riyad al-Malki told Voice of Palestine radio, adding that the PA will seek either Colombia or Bosnia-Herzegovina's vote.

The eight countries set to vote in favor of the UN bid are Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria and Gabon, al-Malki was quoted as saying by official PA news agency WAFA.

The council decided to refer the request to its members committee during a meeting on Wednesday, which lasted for around two minutes as there were no objections to the review.

Envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour told reporters on Tuesday that PLO officials are to send high level delegations to council members in a bid to win backing.

The PLO campaign faces an uphill struggle as the US has vowed to veto any resolution backing its application.

The United States and Israel, which insist that only direct negotiations can produce an accord, are lobbying furiously for council members to oppose or abstain in the resolution.

If the resolution does not get nine votes in favor it will fail and the United States will not have to use its veto.

Nine of the 15 council members have already said they recognize the Palestinian state, but diplomats say the PLO will struggle to get nine votes for the UN proposal.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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