posted on Wed 16 Feb 2011 12:03 PM
Insights on the draft Israeli Settlements Resolution

Council members are waiting to hear if the resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory will be put in blue this evening.

There has been intense activity over this resolution in the last few days. The Arab Group held meetings throughout much of Wednesday and are meeting again this afternoon. On Wednesday the US offered a compromise which included a presidential statement, possible agreement to a Council visit to the Middle East and stronger language from the Quartet at the next meeting in mid-March in terms of parameters for the negotiations. This apparently was not enough for Palestine and it seems that further language on the 1967 borders may be necessary if this exercise is sufficient to get the parties back to the negotiating table. Today US President Barack Obama spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. A further revised presidential statement is under consideration but it is unclear if it will be accepted by Palestine and the Arab Group.

The general sense is that the flurry of activity will come to a head on Friday with either the resolution being put to a vote (with the possibility of US rejection) or the Council agreeing on a presidential statement.