Neil MacFarquhar
The New York Times
September 26, 2011 - 12:00am

The Security Council decided to meet on Wednesday morning to refer the Palestinian membership application to the Council’s membership committee. All 15 Council members have a representative on the committee. Given the sensitivity and interest of the issue, it will be heavy with ambassadors this time around, diplomats said. Even as the review is proceeding, both the United States and the Palestinians have been lobbying over the eventual vote in the Council, which is still weeks if not months away. Should the Palestinians fail to muster the nine votes they need to move their application forward, the United States will not be put in the awkward position of vetoing the membership bid.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador, said envoys would be sent to Gabon, Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina to try to shore up Council votes that appear to be wobbly. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the foreign ministers of Colombia and Lebanon to stress the American position, which is that the membership would complicate efforts to resume direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.


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