Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002
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By Sridhar Krishnaswami
The United States which normally exercises its veto power to reject any anti-Israeli resolutions at the world body abstained. Washington had earlier insisted that the Council should specifically condemn Hamas and the Islamic Jihad for terrorist attacks against the Jewish state.
The Council appeared deadlocked on conflicting resolutions put forth by Syria and the United States, vthe former concentrating on Israeli acts and aggression against the Palestinians and the latter insisting that the United Nations treat the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad as terror outfits under a Security Council Resolution passed in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11,2001.
The Security Council finally accepted a compromise solution put forth by Europe that not only criticised Israel for its siege of Mr. Arafat's compound but also called on the Palestinian Authority to bring to justice those responsible for terrorist acts.
The Security Council formal deliberations on what was taking place among the Israelis and the Palestinians did not detract the behind the scenes negotiations on a new resolution on Iraq. But it did complicate matters as Arab nations again took the opportunity to criticise the United States for its double standards letting Israel off the hook for not following Security Council Resolutions but wanting to throw the book at Iraq.
The Council is expected to start its deliberations on Iraq later in the day with senior diplomats here of the view that there is still a wide gap between the perceptions of the issue by the United States and others notably, Russia, France and China. The Republican administration is bringing tremendous pressure on the Council members for a tough new resolution on Iraq that has a clear time frame.
Washington is particularly working on France and Russia. The French would like to see a two-part resolution, first on the modalities of the return of the weapons inspectors and weapons inspections. If this were to fail, France then wants to take up the subject of consequences. Russia apparently wants no new resolution but lean on Iraq to abide by existing U.N. resolutions, a stance that is unacceptable to the United States.
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