The UN Security Council on Wednesday referred the application by Palestine for membership to a committee on new members, which is to meet Friday.
The Palestinian delegate at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, welcomed the move.
“We are grateful to the Security Council for moving decisively and clearly on our application,” Mansour told Reuters. “The process is moving forward step by step, and we hope that the Security Council will shoulder its responsibility and approve our application.”
Mansour reiterated that the Palestinians hoped that the process would not take too long. President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he wants the review over within weeks.
The standing committee will hold its first meeting on Friday.
Normally, the review period for a membership application is a maximum of 35 days, but Western diplomats say that this limit can be waived and might take much longer for the PLO’s bid.
The US has pledged to veto the application, which needs council approval in order to be handed to the UN General Assembly for confirmation. So far, Western diplomats say, the PLO only has six certain votes.
Security Council resolutions need nine votes in favor and no vetoes from the five permanent members in order to pass.