Palestine has eight Security Council votes, says FM

AFP , Thursday 29 Sep 2011

Palestinians gain the support of Nigeria and Gabon in their efforts to secure nine votes in the Security Council in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, speaks during the 66th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters (Photo: Reuters)

The Palestinians have secured eight Security Council yes votes for their UN membership bid, just one short of the nine they need, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, Riyad al-Malki said he had received assurances from two additional nations -- Nigeria and Gabon -- that they would vote in favour of the Palestinian bid for full state membership at the UN.

"We have eight states that will vote for Palestine in the Security Council," he said. "We are working hard to have a ninth and a tenth."

Malki said the Palestinians have assurances of "yes" votes from Lebanon, Russia, China, India, South Africa and Brazil, in addition to the new confirmations from Nigeria and Gabon.

"We are working on Bosnia, Colombia and Portugal," he added, saying he was scheduled to visit Bosnia shortly, and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will make stops in Colombia, Portugal, Honduras and the Dominican Republic in October.

Abbas will also deliver an address in Strasbourg on October 6, he said.

The Palestinians need to secure at least nine Security Council votes in favour of their membership bid for it to be approved and advanced to the General Assembly.

Even with the requisite nine votes, the United States has pledged to use its veto to block the request, but the Palestinians hope they can at least claim a diplomatic victory by securing a majority in the Security Council.

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