Home / International / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
UNSC to meet on Gaza conflict
Adjust font size:

The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet on the Gaza conflict again at 5:00 p.m. EST (22: 00 GMT) on Thursday, the UN Spokesman's Office announced.

The announcement came as top diplomats from Arab and Western countries are meeting behind closed doors to discuss the proposals on how to end the conflict in Gaza, which already lasted 13 days and left more than 700 Palestinians killed.

The Security Council is expected to meet in a closed session to discuss the text of a possible draft resolution on the Gaza conflict.

Arab foreign ministers and their U.S., British and French counterparts, who stayed at the UN Headquarters in New York for an extra day, have been debating two competing draft resolutions to try to reach a compromise.

Earlier, Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, told reporters here that Arab countries are to request the UN Security Council to vote on a draft resolution on the Gaza conflict on Thursday afternoon.

Moussa is leading a team of Arab foreign ministers at the UN Headquarters to press the 15-nation Security Council to adopt a resolution demanding an immediate end to the Israeli military assaults on Gaza.

"Our firm position is that we cannot waste more time, (and) the Security Council will be asked, requested to vote on a draft resolution this afternoon," Moussa told reporters as he emerged along with other Arab representatives from closed-door consultations here.

According to Arab diplomats here, an immediate end to the conflict, the lifting of embargo and the opening of crossings are key elements that should be included in the draft resolution to be voted on by the Security Council.

The United States has dropped its strong objection to a binding UN Security Council resolution on the Gaza conflict, diplomatic sources here said.

A divided UN Security Council has weighed the Gaza conflict, facing two competing texts on an immediate ceasefire -- a draft resolution presented by Libya, and a presidential statement proposed by France, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council for January, said Jean-Marice Ripert, the French UN ambassador and Council president for the month, on Wednesday.

With Gaza medical officials reporting more than 700 Palestinian deaths, Libya, the only Arab member of the 15-nation Council, insisted on an early vote on a draft resolution "that demands an immediate end" to the Israeli offensive that was launched to stop rocket fire by Hamas militants.

"There is no unanimity on either of these texts," Ripert said. "We have decided to continue our discussions."

Zalmay Khalizad, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said that the non-binding statement was "the best way to proceed" and enjoyed "broad support."

Arab ministers want a vote on the Libyan draft, which requires nine votes in favor and no veto from any of the five permanent members of the Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- for ratification. But the wording of the draft was unlikely to be acceptable to the veto-holding United States and other Western countries, diplomatic sources here said.

Egyptian UN Ambassador, Maged Abdelaziz, told reporters that they would not provoke veto and will discuss with Council members in order to amend the draft.

The United States has blocked the approval of a Security Council statement on how to end the Gaza conflict.

(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2009)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
- UN Security Council convenes on Gaza conflict
- UN chief urges swift Security Council action to end Gaza crisis
- Malaysian PM seeks UN special assembly on Gaza conflict
- UN chief appeals for int'l unity to end Gaza crisis
- UN Security Council fails to reach agreement on Gaza