Catrina Stewart
The Independent

November 7, 2011

Britain, France and Colombia plan to abstain from a UN Security Council vote on Palestinian statehood, in a setback to efforts to secure international support for the Palestinian bid.

The US has pledged to veto the Palestinian attempt if it is brought to the vote in the 15-member council, but the Palestinians had hoped to gather a nine-vote majority, forcing America to cast its veto, which would award the Palestinians a moral victory.

The Palestinians insist that the current paradigm for peace talks has broken down and that it is time to try something new. Israel, which has lobbied hard against the statehood bid, claims the Palestinians are seeking to obtain recognition without negotiations.

But the Palestinians potentially face an embarrassing showdown in the UN if they push ahead with a vote, because it now remains uncertain whether they can muster the nine votes.

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