posted on Wed 9 Feb 2011 11:01 AM
Insights on a Council visit to the Middle East

Council members are now consulting with capitals following Russia’s proposal for a Council visit to the Middle East. Yesterday during consultations, Russian Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin announced a proposed Council visit to Israel and Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon. Serious questions were raised about the timing of such a visit and the choice of countries. The suggestion of a possible Council visit to the Middle East came as a surprise to some members who now want some time to seriously consider the proposal.

Today both the US and the UK brought up the Russian proposal in speaking with the press. The US stressed that no decisions were taken yesterday on the visit and that it was being very carefully considered by members. The UK said that while it was in favour of a visit to the Middle East a number of issues needed to be addressed such as the timing and purpose of the visit.