U.N. Council Sends Palestine Bid to Membership Committee


The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday sent the Palestinian bid to join the United Nations to a specialist committee to report on the application.

A full session of the 15-member council that lasted barely two minutes was the first public discussion of the application. The United States has vowed to veto any Palestinian bid.

"Unless I hear a proposal to the contrary I shall send the application of Palestine to the committee on new members," Lebanon's U.N. ambassador Nawaf Salam said. No comments were made and Salam hurriedly brought the gavel down to get the meeting over.

The membership committee is to hold its first meeting on Friday at the U.N. headquarters. All 15 members of the Security Council are represented on the committee.

Palestine president Mahmud Abbas made the historic application on Friday and was given a standing ovation in the U.N. General Assembly. The United States and Israel, strongly opposing the bid, say that only direct Israel-Palestinian talks can create a Palestinian state.