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UN Security Council refers Palestinian application to become full UN member to committee

WorldUN Security Council refers Palestinian application to become full UN member to committee

The UN Security Council president on Monday referred the Palestinian Authority’s application to become a full member of the world body to the committee on the admission of new member.

Malta’s UN ambassador Vanessa Frazier proposed that the committee meet on Monday afternoon to consider the application, adding that deliberation has to take place this month. Malta is president of the Security Council for April.

“We sincerely hope after 12 years since we change our status to an observer state, that the Security Council will elevate itself to implementing the global consensus on the two state solution by admitting the state of Palestine for full membership,” Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters after the meeting.

The Palestinian Authority last week formally asked for renewed consideration by the United Nations Security Council of its 2011 application to become a full member of the world body.

The Palestinians are a non-member observer state at the United Nations, the same status as the Holy See.

Palestinian UN ambassador Riyad Mansour. Photo: EPA-EFE

The committee of the 15 members first assesses an application to see if it satisfies requirements for UN membership. The application can then either be shelved or put forward for a formal vote in the Security Council.

Approval requires at least nine votes in favour and no vetos by the US, Russia, China, France or Britain.

Palestinians make fresh bid for UN membership. US says peace with Israel must come first

“The committee has to deliberate within the month of April,” Frazier told reporters ahead of the meeting.

Observers are predicting a veto from the US, which has opposed Palestinian membership since 2011.

“Our position is a position that is known, it hasn’t changed,” Washington’s UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. “But we are going to continue to find a path to bring a two-state solution.”

Under US legislation, the United States is required to cut off funding to UN agencies that give full membership to a Palestinian state, though it has at times applied the law selectively.

Washington maintains the United Nations is not the place for hashing out Palestinian statehood, which it stresses should be the result of an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Mansour told Reuters last week that the aim was for the council to take a decision at an April 18 ministerial meeting on the Middle East.

Israel’s UN ambassador Gilad Erdan said earlier on Monday that a Palestinian state would be a threat to Israel’s national security.

“Granting the Palestinian statehood is not only a blatant violation of the UN Charter, it also violates the fundamental principle that everyone can understand of reaching a solution a lasting solution at the negotiating table,” Erdan told reporters.

“The UN has been sabotaging peace in the Middle East for years. But today marks the beginning of the point of no return.”

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

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