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Before Obama Meets Israel & Palestine, Vote Doubts from Bosnia, Not China

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 20 -- Even before US President Obama meets with Israel's Netanyahu and Palestine's Abbas on September 21, UN Security Council diplomats were offering differing counts of how many votes the Palestinians would have in the Council for full UN membership.

From the lowest count of six (including Lebanon, Russia, South Africa, India, Nigeria and, Inner City Press had confirmed, China) to higher counts including Bosnia and Gabon and perhaps others, the goal was to see if the US would even have to cast a veto.

A Chinese diplomat, polled by Inner City Press, said that his country would have to vote with Palestine, given what they've said in the past. Gabon has expressed doubts; the non-Serbian part of Bosnia is said to want to vote yes, with the hold out Serb part saying no (some allege money as well as anti-Muslim sentiment).

Late on Tuesday, a self-described US Senior State Department Official told the press that Hillary Clinton was supposed to meet with South Africa and Nigeria, but one of the two had been canceled due to time. This implies the US thinks the two are still in play -- and Gabon "in the bag."

There are countries on the Security Council which would vote no or abstain there, but vote yes in the General Assembly. The EU has been unable to build consensus. Perhaps indicative of why, Inner City Press on Tuesday witnessed the EU's Catherine Ashton and her entourage grab a set of chairs in the North Lawn building.

When a woman diplomat stood up and approached, Ashton shook her head, no. Then she asked a person next to her, "Who is that?" Why say no if you don't know? Watch this site.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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

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