Washington and Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Palestinians are ready for further negotiations on the draft resolution that they submitted to the UN Security Council on Wednesday in order to secure 9 out of the 15 votes required to meet a 2017 deadline for the end of Israeli occupation.
Speaking on Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he supports further negotiations over the proposed UN Security Council resolution amid fears that Washington could seek to use its veto and prevent a vote, in line with its years-long policy of rejecting any unilateral action in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
“We will continue in our consultations with the brothers and friends through deliberations, which will take place in the United Nations,” Abbas said.
Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi envoy to the UN, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinian delegation submitting the draft resolution “in blue,” does not prohibit further negotiations.
A draft resolution submitted “in blue” means that the text of the resolution is printed in blue ink and officially distributed to the Security Council members and could be put to a vote as soon as 24 hours later. However, some drafts formally submitted in this manner have never been voted on and the Palestinians have said that they are ready to negotiate on the text of the draft resolution.
“I believe that the next phase will see further negotiations, particularly with the French side and the Europeans generally, as well as with the Americans,” Mouallimi said.
“The Palestinians’ draft resolution is balanced and modest, and if the Western diplomats, and particularly the Americans, have comments then the Palestinian officials will take this into account,” he added.
Mouallimi affirmed Riyadh’s backing for the Palestinian project and called for all countries to stand “in one line” with the Palestinians.
Speaking earlier this week, Palestine’s own envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour said: “The draft in blue is not closing the door to the continuation of the negotiations with all our partners. We are willing to work with those who want to work with us in the Security Council in a positive and constructive way.”
Jordan’s envoy to the UN, Dina Kawar, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the draft resolution remains under discussion between UN Security Council members, and that a date for a vote has yet to be determined. Jordan, which is strongly backing the Palestinian resolution, currently holds a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
A Western diplomat, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity said: “There is no consensus on the current text of the resolution in this form, and that is why we need to do some more work.”
“It now depends on our ability to reach a text that can truly reach consensus of views. Our goal is to achieve this consensus in views, and that means that we have to have a text that everybody agrees on,” the diplomat added.
Additional reporting from Ramallah by Kifah Ziboun.