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Possible Mideast Resolution Debated at UN - 2001-10-24


The United Nations Security Council is again considering a possible resolution on Mideast violence.

Meeting in a closed session, the Council discussed a proposal from the Organization of the Islamic Conference that would demand the full and immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Palestinian areas that Israel recently reoccupied. It also calls for the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to help both sides implement the so-called "Mitchell Report" that contains guidelines for ending the violence, restoring confidence and resuming negotiations.

Last August, a resolution strongly criticizing Israel and calling for a monitoring mechanism was withdrawn under pressure from the United States. Last March, the United States vetoed a similar resolution when it was brought to a vote in the Security Council.

However, diplomats say conditions are different now with the United States itself telling Israel to withdraw its forces from the Palestinian-controlled areas. At the same time, the United States told Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to make sure those responsible for last week's assassination of the Israeli tourism minister are arrested. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the United States gave "very wise advice" to the parties and that they should "heed that advice."

Members of the Security Council are expected to continue discussions on the proposed resolution and the overall situation in the Mideast during the next couple of days.

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