Security Council to take up Palestinian bid tomorrow

Lebanese Ambassador Nawaf Salam, who holds this month's rotating presidency, made a brief appearance before reporters and issued a brief statement in English and Arabic.
He said the council had met last afternoon and decided to take up a decision on referring the issue for further consideration two days hence.

The Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour said he was grateful to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for quickly forwarding the request to the Security Council.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday submitted the application that Palestine become the United Nations' 194th member.

"We hope it will lead to fast action in positively recognising that Palestine be admitted," Mansour said.

Mansour said that the Palestinian leadership will be meeting tomorrow on a subsequent statement by the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers the US, European Union, Russia and UN calling for a resumption of peace talks without preconditions within a month and a target for a final agreement by the end of 2012.

Israel and the United States oppose the move to grant UN membership to the Palestinians and consider it a step back from long-stalled peace talks, and the US has said it will veto a resolution recommending membership.

Nonetheless, diplomats said the council is moving ahead as it does with all applications it receives.

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