Sunday, December 14, 2008

U.N. Set To Pass Mideast Peace Resolution

Curt Here....

More talk of a peace in the Middle East. This time it comes from the UN in the form of a Mideast Peace Resolution. It appears that a resolution has been negotiated and discussed during closed door emergency sessions over the weekend at the UN. It also appears that it will be voted on and passed nearly unanimously on Tuesday.

I don't personally believe this is the peace treaty that provides the two state solution that everyone keeps talking about, but with all the major players at the UN over this weekend and for the next few days it should not be ignored. IMHO it is clearly another step in the process and will provide additional pressure towards the end result of two state solution and peace in the Middle East.

Put this together with Constance Cumbey's reporting on Share International soon to be coming "Christmas gift from the Maitreya" due soon after Christmas (you can read about it here on her Dec 12 post... ) and we have quite a bit of very interesting end times news right now.

Stay tuned.

U.N. Set To Pass Mideast Peace Resolution
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 14, 2008

(CBS/AP) For the first time in five years, the United Nations Security Council was poised to adopt a resolution calling for collective peace in the Middle East on Saturday.

Council members met in a closed-door emergency session to discuss a U.S.-drafted resolution, strongly backed by Russia, which appeared to have near-unanimous support. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Zalmay Khalilzad, said a vote on the resolution by the 15-nation council is expected on Tuesday.

The two-page draft resolution calls on Israelis and Palestinians "to fulfill their obligations" under last year's peace deal brokered at Annapolis, Maryland, and for all nations and international groups "to contribute to an atmosphere conducive to negotiations."

“With a year-end deadline looming, the four countries involved in the Middle East Quartet peace negotiations (the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations) met on Saturday and introduced a draft Security Council Resolution, which will be discussed on Monday with the expectation of a vote on the Ministerial level on Tuesday,” said CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk from the U.N.

“The objective of the Security Council action is to get the stalled talks back on track and show support for a formal meeting in Moscow in 2009,” Falk reported, “and the participation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is intended to set the negotiations on a better footing before the Bush Administration leaves office.”

“With support from both the U.S and Russia, the Security Council is likely to get the Resolution passed which supports the peace process and the goal of achieving a two-state solution,” Falk added.

The U.S.-sponsored Annapolis talks had set a goal of achieving a substantive peace accord before President George W. Bush leaves office in January, a scenario that appears all but impossible now.

Now, the U.S. focus is on a smooth handover to President-elect Barack Obama that keeps up the momentum for peace. "We believe it is very important at this time to recognize the process that has been made," said Ambassador Khalilzad.

The Middle East peace negotiations have been stalled by a spike in violence in the region and the lack of agreement about resettlement of Palestinians, the fate of Jerusalem and Israeli settlements - and the objective of the talks is to not lose time because of new governments in the U.S and Israel as well as possible Palestinian elections.

“The Bush administration has an interest in passing on to President-elect Obama a peace process that is ongoing and not stalled," said Falk. Khalilzad announced the draft resolution, symbolically, with Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin while addressing reporters after the council session.

Churkin said the draft resolution was presented to council members Saturday for the first time as a culmination of the close work between the U.S. and Russia, which have been at serious odds much of this past year over Zimbabwe, Georgia and other issues.

"Of course we all cannot be satisfied with where the peace process is at now," Ambassador Churkin said, "but considerable efforts have been made over the past 12 months or so, and we believe that the effort has to be pinned down and it has to continue with our support, which may be there because of some political circumstances - change of administration of the United States, elections in Israel, possible elections in the Palestinian autonomy - but despite all those circumstances, we believe that there must be continued effort."

French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert, whose nation holds the E.U. presidency until the end of the year, said France has been urging for a long time that the Security Council get involved in the Mideast peace process.

"So for us, it could be a very important milestone," he said. Before the council votes on the Middle East resolution, Libya has asked that it include language directed against Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The Arab peace plan calls for Arab recognition of the Jewish state in exchange for a full Israeli withdrawal from all lands captured in the 1967 war. Not since November 2003 has the council passed a resolution on the Middle East that calls for collective peace by insisting on a two-nation solution for Israelis and Palestinians, according to Security Council Report, an independent not-for-profit organization.

"The Security Council for a long time has not been able to pronounce itself on anything on the Middle East process or the situation in the Middle East," said Ambassador Churkin, "so to draft this political statement coming out of the Security Council at the crucial junction will not be insignificant achievement."

The council needs only nine members to pass the new draft resolution, but diplomats said that with a resolution on such a complex issue as this one, some of its strength would be derived from passing it unanimously. Even if that does not occur, the resolution appears to be headed toward near-unanimous passage, several Security Council diplomats said. With all five of the council's permanent members on board, there appears to be no threat that any of them - the U.S., Russia, China, Britain or France - will use their veto power.

1 comment:

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