U.S. Vetoes UN Resolution Condemning Israeli Security Fence

(October 15, 2003)

The United States vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning Israel's construction of a security fence. Four countries abstained on the vote (Bulgaria, Cameroon, Germany and Britain). Syria's U.N. Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad, whose country is the only Arab nation on the 15-member council, introduced the draft resolution on behalf of the 22-member Arab League.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said the resolution was ``unbalanced'' and ``did not further the goals of peace and security in the region.''

The United States suggested additions to the document to call on all parties in the Middle East struggle to dismantle Palestinian terrorist groups. But the Palestinians and Syria, which had introduced the draft, rejected the changes and went ahead with the vote anyway.

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman praised the veto. He said the world community should focus on Palestinian bombers killing innocent civilians, not Israel's barrier.

Source: Associated Press, (October 15, 2003)