Palestinians sees sufficient votes at U.N. council

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 20, 2011 11:19 AM
Palestinians sees sufficient votes at U.N. council

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Palestinian foreign minister voiced confidence on Tuesday that his delegation would muster the minimum nine votes needed to win U.N. Security Council support for Palestinian statehood.

Security Council resolutions need nine votes from the 15-nation body to pass, but the United States has already said it will veto the measure, which would prevent its passage.

Israeli officials who oppose the bid had said the Palestinians would have difficulty securing the minimum number needed.

"We're working toward it (securing nine votes) and I think we'll manage it," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told reporters after meeting his Venezuelan counterpart.

Malki did not consider the U.S. position as unchangeable.

"We hope the United States will revise its position and be on the side of the majority of nations or countries who want to support the Palestinian right to have self determination and independence," Malki said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to give U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon an application on Friday for full U.N. membership for a Palestinian state, setting the stage for a showdown with Israel and the United States.

Israel, which has called for renewed direct talks with the Palestinians, opposes the U.N. move and says it is aimed at de-legitimizing Israel. The Palestinians say their U.N. bid is aimed at opening the door to renewed peace talks among two equals -- both of them sovereign states.

The latest round of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed a year ago after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on new settlements in areas the Palestinians want for a future state.

(Reporting by Dave Graham, writing by Louis Charbonneau, editing by David Storey)