Palestinians Say Security Council Has Time to Mull U.N. Bid


The Palestinians are prepared to give the U.N. Security Council time to consider their bid for U.N. membership for a Palestinian state, a top Palestinian official said Wednesday.

President Mahmoud Abbas will give "some time to the Security Council to consider first our full membership request before heading to the General Assembly," Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath told reporters.

Abbas was to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama later Wednesday and tell him that he was "determined" to go ahead with the Palestinians bid to seek U.N. membership for a Palestinian state.

But as the Palestinians did "not want anybody to suspect a lack of seriousness" about their bid, they were ready to give the Security Council time to consider the application.

They have to win nine of the 15 votes on the U.N. Security Council for their bid to go ahead, but the United States has already said it would veto any bid.

However, the Palestinians could then apply to the General Assembly to grant them status as a non-member observer state -- also accorded to the Vatican.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that a U.N. Security Council vote was still "several weeks" away, allowing time to avoid a confrontation.

"There will probably be several weeks and these weeks can be used to develop the strategy," Juppe told reporters.