France, Britain and Colombia plan to abstain from a United Nations Security Council vote granting Palestinians statehood, two UN diplomats said Thursday.
France reiterates its consistent proposal to envisage for Palestine, at this stage, the status of non-member observer state through a UN General Assembly voter that would be another step toward admission, deputy foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said.
While the region is seeing upheavals, the legitimacy of the Palestinian desire for a state is indisputable. The Palestinian demand however has no chance of achieving anything at the Security Council notably because of the United States' stated opposition.
Earlier this week, France voted to approve a similar Palestinian request for membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, despite Israel and the United States condemning the move, triggering a long-standing congressional ban on U.S. funding to UN bodies that recognize Palestine as a state before an Israeli-Palestinian deal is reached.
France's declaration confirmed what France and Britain reportedly told the Security Council at a closed-door hearing on Thursday. The Security Council is set to meet on November 11 to discuss a report about whether or not to admit a Palestinian state as a member of the international organization, CNN reported.
Given that the United States -- one of five permanent Security Council members -- has already indicated it will veto Palestine's UN bid, France and Britain's decision has no practical effect. But it would have been a major coup for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas if he had been able to garner votes by two major powers.
Abbas needs nine votes in favor out of 15 Security Council seats.