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U.N. could vote on Palestinian bid by November 11

By Al Arabiya | 20 Oct 2011

The U.N. Security Council could vote as early as Nov. 11 on whether to grant the Palestinians full UN membership as a state, a top Western diplomat said Wednesday.

“There will be further discussions on 11 of November with possibly a vote (that would mark) the end of the consideration process,” the diplomat said.

Following a “surprisingly harmonious” meeting on Tuesday, U.N. ambassadors will hold another meeting on November 3 on the issue, the diplomat said, followed by formal talks on November 11 that could conclude with a vote if the Palestinians want it to go ahead.

“It is in the hands of the Palestinians. If they say they want to delay (the voting process) for two weeks, we will do it,” he added.

But the Palestinians still lack the nine votes they need at the Security Council to secure a recommendation for statehood recognition as a full member, which would then be voted on by the U.N. General Assembly.

They currently hold observer status at the world body and could seek an intermediary status as non-member observer state, a status akin to that held by the Vatican, if the full membership bid fails.

The Palestinian move for U.N. recognition as a state is strongly opposed by both Israel and the United States, which say a Palestinian state can only emerge through bilateral negotiations.

 

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