UNSC to meet with Kushner on Mideast plan
UNITED NATIONS-Agence France-Presse
In this file photo taken on Nov.19, 2019 Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor listens as U.S. President Donald Trump takes part in a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (AFP File Photo)
The United States has requested a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting for Feb. 6 at which President Donald Trump's son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, is to present the administration's new Mideast plan which is opposed by the Palestinian leadership, diplomats said.
Kushner, a key architect of the plan, will brief the 14 other members at noon (1700 GMT) on Feb. 6, said Ambassador Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve of Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council.
The Belgian envoy said he was also expecting a formal Palestinian request for a meeting on the plan with their president Mahmud Abbas, who set to visit the United Nations on Feb. 11.
The Palestinians, who have strongly criticized Trump's plan, have indicated they plan to submit a draft resolution through Tunisia, a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
The resolution's content has not been divulged as yet, but the United States would likely oppose it, using its veto, if necessary, should it gain the support of nine council members, the minimum required for passage.
In late 2017, a Palestinian-inspired resolution condemning Washington's unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital received 14 votes in the Security Council, but the United States quashed it with its veto.
A similar resolution proposed during the U.N. General Assembly, a 193-member body in which no country has a veto, was approved by a vote of 128 in favor, nine against and 35 abstentions. The remaining 21 countries chose not to be present for the vote.
Kushner is the architect of the plan unveiled by the president a week ago, and rejected on Feb. 1by the Arab League and by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Feb. 3.
It makes numerous concessions to Israel, proposing the establishment of a Palestinian capital in Abu Dis, a suburb of Jerusalem. The Palestinians have long sought the whole of east Jerusalem as their capital.
The U.S. proposal also gives consent for the annexation of Israeli settlements as well as the Jordan Valley, Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967.
The U.S. mission at the United Nations would provide no details on the request for a Security Council meeting.
In a statement on Feb. 1, Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, said he has launched a campaign to persuade member countries not to support any Palestinian action that is hostile to the U.S. plan.