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At UN on Palestine, Amid "Delay," Talk of Settlements & Withheld Taxes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 11 -- After a report on Palestine's application for UN membership was sent Friday from a committee to the full Security Council, one Council member told Inner City Press "it's like Cold War tactics, delay, delay, delay."

The President of the Security Council for November, Portugal's Permanent Representative Cabral, said there is no date for the next step, at which the full Council would consider, but not necessarily vote on, the report and Palestine's application.

Cabral said it would be improper to answer questions about the "confidential" report -- Inner City Press put it online on Thursday, click here -- and he left the UN TV stakeout. To the side, on cell phone camera, Inner City Press asked Cabral about a meeting observed Thursday with Palestinian Observer Riyad Mansour and the Permanent Representatives of Iraq and Egypt. Video here.

Cabral said that meeting concerned Israel's settlements and withholding of funds from Palestine.

Minutes later, Inner City Press asked Mansour about the issues, specifically the withholding of funds. He said these were taxes that Israel is now illegally withholding in response to Palestine gaining membership in UNESCO. Video here and below.

Mansour said he and the "troika" will be meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on these topics later on Friday. He's said that only "one powerful country" is blocking Palestine's UN membership, but it does not appear that Palestine has the required nine votes in the current Council. That could change on January 1, when Pakistan, Morocco and Azerbaijan join the Council. Watch this site.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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