UN resolution to ensure safety of Arafat vetoed by US
The United States vetoed on Tuesday a Palestinian-backed draft resolution demanding that the United Nations ensure the safety of Yasser Arafat because it would be seen only as a condemnation of Israel.
Before the vote, U.S. deputy ambassador James Cunningham told reporters after seeing the new text that more consultations were needed to win U.S. approval. "I don't think the revised text is any different from the previous text. Draw your own conclusions," he said. "I'm not sure it's going to come to a vote - or when it's going to come to a vote."
Nonetheless, the vote took place after Syria did not agree to amend the draft and delay the vote.
The new language of the resolution appeared aimed at providing more evenhandedness in the resolution to gain the support of Britain and Germany and to ensure that the United States would abstain from rather than veto the resolution.
Council diplomats, cited by the AP, said the United States was informing members that it would veto the amended text because of its lopsided condemnation of Israel. At the end, eleven Security Council members voted in favor while Britain, Germany and Bulgaria abstained.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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