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      Arab States in Key UN Positions in September

      As the PA statehood bid at the UN approaches, Lebanon prepares to chair the Security Council and Qatar the General Assembly.
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 8/9/2011, 9:32 PM

      United Nations
      United Nations
      UN.org

       Arab states will be chairing the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly in September as the Palestinian Authority makes its statehood bid.

      Lebanon is slated to preside over the Security Council in September while Qatar will head the General Assembly.

      Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor refused to address any possible moves Lebanon's Hizbullah-backed government may make during its tenure in the presidency.

      "This is the daily reality we face in the UN. It requires double the effort in an arena which has an automatic majority against us," Prosor told reporters.

      Qatar begins its one-year General Assembly presidency term in September, where Arab states enjoy an automatic majority.

      The General Assembly, however, cannot admit a new state to the United Nations without the consent of the security council.

      There, Lebanon's Ambassador to the UN Nawaf Salam will have the customary privilige of raising one one special topic for discussion by the Security Council.

      Beirut may raise the issue of PA statehood for a vote in the Security Council even without serving as president if the Arab League and the PA follow through on their plans to raise the issue.

      It may also raise other subjects, however, such as the oil fields Israel is developing of its northern coast, on which the Hizbullah-backed government in Lebanon has made a counter-claim.

      Iran came out in support of Lebanon's claims on Monday, prompting the IAF to deploy drones over the disputed gas fields in the event of attack.

      It is unclear whether the Security Council president has the authority to invite a speaker who is not its citizen, such as Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

      But observers say it may not matter what Lebanon decides to do, or who it invites to speak, as the US has telegraphed the use of its veto in the Security Council should the PA statehood bid be brought to a vote.

      The Security Council has five permanent member states with veto power (The United States, Russia, China, France and Britain).