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Report says no consensus on Palestinian UN bid
Diplomats: Council report concludes there is no consensus on Palestinian bid for UN membership
By The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ' There is no consensus among the 15 Security Council nations on the Palestinian application for U.N. membership, diplomats said Tuesday, citing a draft report summing up members' views.

The four-page report says the council is divided among those who support Palestinian membership, those who can't support it now and therefore would abstain, and those who believe the application doesn't meet the criteria for membership and oppose it, according to diplomats.

Portugal's U.N. Ambassador Jose Filipe Moraes Cabral, the current council president, sent the draft report to all 15 council nations Tuesday, diplomats said on condition of anonymity because the consultations are private.

Council members were given until late Wednesday afternoon to propose any changes.

The admissions committee is scheduled to meet Friday, and diplomats said it will likely approve the report and send it to the Security Council.

Diplomats said one of the Palestinian supporters on the council, most likely Lebanon or South Africa, would then have to submit a resolution recommending Palestinian membership to be put to a vote in the council.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. observer, said last week the Palestinians want the Security Council to move quickly on their membership application.

The draft report does not include the number or names of countries that would support, abstain, or oppose Palestinian membership, the diplomats said. It does summarize differing views in the council on the criteria for U.N. membership ' whether the Palestinians have a defined territory, are a peace-loving state, and are able and willing to fulfill the obligations in the U.N. Charter, they said.

For the resolution to be adopted by the council, it needs at least nine "yes" votes and must avoid a veto by any of the permanent members: U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France.

The United States, Israel's closest ally, has already announced it will veto the resolution if necessary.

When the admissions committee met last Thursday, diplomats said China, Russia, Brazil, India, South Africa and Lebanon announced their support for Palestinian membership. France, Britain and Colombia announced they would abstain and the United States said it would oppose the Palestinian bid, diplomats said.

Nigeria, Gabon, Germany and Portugal didn't announce a final position while Bosnia said it was unable to make a statement because the government has not agreed on a position, diplomats said. Bosnia's three-member presidency is split on the issue which means it will most likely abstain.

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