Would anyone have ever thought the road to an independent Palestinian state might run through Sarajevo?
With efforts continuing in the Palestinian Authority to secure support for independence from Israeli occupation, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki today reports that the PA has eight members of the 15-member United Nations Security Council on the bandwagon for statehood. A successful vote would require a 60% majority, or nine yes votes.
With eight apparently committed yeses (Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria and Gabon), the focus is now on convincing Bosnia to provide that last vote, with a somewhat less hopeful path of convincing either Colombia or Portugal.
Malki is expected to visit Bosnia soon, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit both Colombia and Portugal in October. Bosnia, which itself only gained independence in 1992, is seen as most likely to be supportive.
This might be doubly so after the European Parliament today adopted a unanimous resolution supporting the right of the Palestinians to have an independent nation. Bosnia, though not yet an EU member, is currently pushing for membership.
The Obama Administration has promised to veto a UN Security Council vote, but it is hoped by PA officials that they would be too embarrassed to veto the resolution if it already has nine yes votes.