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Driving for 9 Votes, Palestine Targets Bosnia, Gabon & Nigeria, Mulls Quartet

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 26 -- When Palestinian Observer Riyad Mansour spoke to the press on Friday afternoon, he began by maintaining that the nine Security Council members which have previously recognized Palestine will vote "yes" on membership.

  Inner City Press asked, what about Bosnia, has Palestine met with the Republica Srbska third of the government?

Mansour described a Palestinian visit to Bosnia at which the delegation was well received; he said he visited Belgrade in Serbia and spoke with the relevant people. But who can reach Republica Srbska? It is not clear.

As South African Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu entered the Security Council, Inner City Press asked him if there would be three African Union "yes" votes for Palestinian membership. I can only speak for my vote, Baso said. South Africa is a yes; Gabon and Nigeria less so. According to Mansour, both will also be new visits.

Asked about Friday's Quartet Statement, Mansour said that the Palestinian leadership will meet about it on Wednesday. But he said that a cessation of the settlements is required. The Quartet didn't speak to that, as noted by Mahmoud Abbas to the media on his way back to Ramallah. Mansour also noted that Israel has not embraced the Quartet Statement.

Beyond the fight between UN Security and the Turkish delegation that Inner City Press exclusively reported on Friday, Inner City Press has been informed that while Abbas gave his speech on Friday, Avigdor Lieberman did come into the GA Hall -- only in order to immediately leave it.

Abbas gets ready to rock the GA, Sept 23, 9 votes & Lieberman not shown

Even before Monday's consultations started, spokespeople told the Press that there would be an open meeting on the Council on Wednesday to formally refer Palestine's application to an "Ad Hoc" committee on membership -- all 15 members are on the committee -- and that the committee will meet for the first time on Friday. And so it goes at the UN - watch this site.

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Hurry Up and Wait at UN on Palestine Application, Ashton Wants Talks

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 23 -- Palestinian Friday at the UN turned out to be as dramatic, or more, than Mahmoud Abbas had predicted.

  Abbas turned in Palestine's application for statement to Ban Ki-moon, who passed it on to the Lebanese President of the Security Council.  (Inner City Press is putting it online, here.)

  Then the Middle East Quartet convened a 2:30 meeting at the UN, with convoys of black vehicles screeching up to the UN as the UN's top security official ran outside, following a dust-up between Security and Turkey inside the UN.

  Following the Quartet's meeting and statement, the EU's Catherine Ashton came to speak and to take questions. Inner City Press asked her if the EU members on the Security Council will all vote the same way on Palestine's application. Ashton said that is not her focus, she is concentrated on negotiations between the parties that could lead to peace for the two peoples.

Lady Ashton Sept 23, won't say how EU members of SC'll vote

Just as Ashton was finishing it was announced that Nawaf Salam, President of the Security Council for September, would speak at the Council stakeout at 3:30. He did not take any question, but announced that there will be Council consultations on Palestine's application Monday at 3 pm.

Inner City Press asked a member of the Lebanese delegation about Benyamin Netanyahu's statement that the Security Council this month is led "by Hezbollah." After a pause, the representative said, "He can say what he wants."

Back in the North Lawn building, after Tony Blair took to the microphone, Hillary Clinton followed but did not take any questions. Will the UN "have" to veto? That is a question. 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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