Palestinians courting U.N. for backing

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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Sept. 30 (UPI) — The Palestinian foreign minister said his government was in talks with members of the U.N. Security Council for more support for U.N. membership.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Maliki said, during a news conference in the West Bank, that his government was pressing for a key ninth vote at the Security Council for its bid for full membership at the United Nations.

The Palestinian government has observer status and full membership is part of a statehood initiative launched last week by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Nine votes are needed for approval and Maliki had said his government wasn’t satisfied with the level of support it had now, Bloomberg News reports.

The European Parliament, in a resolution passed Thursday, said lawmakers viewed the Palestinian bid for statehood as legitimate.

The Security Council announced Wednesday that it referred an application for full membership submitted by Palestinian authorities to a U.N. committee tasked with vetting new members.

Washington said it would veto any move for Palestinian statehood at the U.N. Security Council, pushing direct talks with Israel as the best course of action. The United States is a key member in the so-called Quartet, which includes the United Nations, Russia and the European Union, overseeing the Middle East peace process.

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