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Gabon Undecided: How Will the Security Council Members Vote?

How will the 15 UN Security Council members vote on the PA's statehood bid?
By David Lev
First Publish: 9/20/2011, 11:45 PM

It's the political horse race of the hour: How will the 15 members of the UN Security Council vote on the Palestinian Authority's request that the UN recognize the Arab state it intends to declare in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem?

With the PA's decision to take its bid directly to the Security Council, speculation about how the member countries will vote has become the main focus of intense diplomatic efforts this week. The United States, as one of five permanent Security Council members, has the power to veto any resolution it doesn't like – and U.S. officials have said that in a worst-case scenario they will not hesitate to use that veto to block the PA's bid. But for various reasons – partly to show that international support for the bid is far from universal – the U.S. has been pressuring Security Council member countries to vote against the bid, while the PA has been doing what it can to convince countries to support it.

Over the past few days, those still undecided among the 15 Security Council member states have been making their final decisions on how to vote, but some are still thinking about it. Gabon, for example, said Tuesday that it was still considering the issue. Speaking from the African country, a top aide to Gabonian President Ali Bongo said "We have not turned in our position statement ... We cannot anticipate a recognition of the new state of Palestine, or a non-recognition at this point.” Earlier, the PA had claimed Gabon as its eighth vote.

Seven of the fifteen Security Council states have made definitive statements on how they are going to vote. Joining the U.S. against are Germany and Colombia, reports in the U.S. said, although local media in Bogota said that the best Colombia could do would be to abstain. Definite yesses. for the PA bid include China, India, Lebanon, Russia, and South Africa. The PA also claims that Brazil and Portugal will approve the bid, giving them seven votes so far.

Of the others, France, Serbia, Nigeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina still have not made a final decision.