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UN Security Council to vote on Palestinian resolution

AFP , Tuesday 30 Dec 2014
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Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour, left, and Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar leave a meeting of Arab states at UN headquarters, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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The UN Security Council will vote later Tuesday on a draft resolution on Palestinian statehood that is almost certain to be defeated over opposition from the United States.

Security Council member Jordan requested the vote following a meeting of Arab ambassadors on the draft resolution that sets a 12-month deadline to reach a final peace deal with Israel.

"We have decided that we are going to pass to a vote at the Security Council on the resolution," Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar told reporters.

Diplomats said a meeting was set for 2200 GMT.

The Palestinians on Monday presented changes to the text that was submitted on December 17, toughening up language on East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state and demanding an end to Israeli settlements.

The resolution calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories to be completed no later than the end of 2017.

The United States has rejected the measure, arguing that it binds the parties to a strict time frame to reach an agreement that has eluded the region for decades.

Washington reiterated its opposition on Tuesday and stressed it was not alone in rejecting the Palestinian draft.

"There are a number of countries that have indicated they cannot support this resolution," said US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke.

"Even among countries that are longstanding supporters of the Palestinians and that have indicated they would vote in favor of the resolution, many of them have also acknowledged that it is an unconstructive and poorly timed resolution."

Diplomats said it was unlikely that the resolution would garner nine votes under the current makeup of the council -- a scenario that would allow the United States to avoid resorting to its veto power.

A US veto risks angering key Arab allies, including partners in the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

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