Feb 10, 2020 - World

Palestinians struggle to rally opposition to Trump plan at UN Security Council

Mahmoud Abbas speaks at the UN General Assembly. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

A UN Security Council vote on a Palestinian draft resolution rejecting President Trump's Middle East peace plan has been postponed. It's unclear if and when it will take place.

Why it matters: This is a significant setback for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is expected to give a speech opposing the plan at a special meeting of the Security Council tomorrow.

  • The Palestinians wanted tomorrow's meeting to end with a vote. They hoped the vote would isolate the U.S. and force it to use its veto power.
  • The postponement follows efforts from Jared Kushner and other administration officials over the last few days to dilute the text of the resolution and prevent a vote.

On the text: U.S., Israeli and Palestinian officials say the text had to be softened because several Security Council members wanted to avoid a confrontation with the U.S. Several sentences that referred directly to the Trump plan were removed.

On the vote: The U.S. broke silence procedure at the Security Council, blocking the resolution from immediately moving forward and stressing it was willing to negotiate.

  • The UK, France and Germany jumped on the U.S. proposal and started negotiating edits, thus delaying the tabling of the final text — which must happen 24 hours before a vote.
  • When the Palestinians realized the vote would not take place right after Abbas’ speech, and moreover that they might not have sufficient votes, they decided to postpone it.

What’s next: Palestinian officials say Abbas will criticize the Trump plan and present his own proposal for relaunching peace talks. The officials say they are still hoping to bring the resolution up for a vote later this week.

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