By Ria Novosti
After discussions on Friday, the Security Council handed Palestinian Authority’s UN membership request to an expert committee, Russia’s UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, said.
An expert committee has been set up to study whether the Palestinian statehood bid, submitted by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas a week ago, meets the UN Charter demands.
“We [the UN Security Council] had a good discussion. We agreed to meet again a couple of weeks later, by that time experts will consider all aspects and criteria,” Churkin said.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Thursday the Palestinian bid is supported by eight out of the fifteen Security Council members. The document needs nine votes to be approved, and none of the Council’s permanent members should be opposed to it. But the United States has already said it will veto any statehood resolution.
Israel and the United States have expressed strong opposition to the “unilateral” move by the Palestinian Authority, which they say would jeopardize any future peace talks, and urged the Palestinians to immediately return to the negotiating table.
In case of a US veto, the Palestinians can still ask the General Assembly to elevate their UN status from an observer to a “non-state member,” which some analysts say would enable them to challenge the continuing construction of Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian land in the International Criminal Court. A total of 131 UN member states, making up more than two-thirds of the organization’s members, have recognized an independent Palestinian state.