UNITED NATIONS – The United States blocked the U.N. Security Council from issuing a statement that would have condemned Israel's bombing of a U.N. post on the Lebanon border that killed four military observers.
U.S. diplomats refused to comment and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton was in Washington preparing for a new confirmation hearing before the Senate. But several diplomats said the United States objected to one paragraph, which said the council "condemns any deliberate attack against U.N. personnel and emphasizes that such attacks are unacceptable."
Earlier Wednesday, Bolton had said that the thrust of a council statement should be to express regret, send condolences and support an investigation to find out exactly what happened — not "to make it a back door to get into other political and military questions."
After several hours of negotiations that ran late into the evening, the council gave up on a statement addressing the Tuesday bombing of the U.N. post and agreed to come back tomorrow.
As a last-ditch bid, China, which had sponsored the draft because a Chinese national was one of the four killed, proposed dropping the language entirely. But Qatari diplomats refused because they could not reach anyone back home to get permission to do so, the diplomats said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to speak on behalf of those nations.