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November 11, 2011

Palestinians Mull Next Move on UN Membership Bid

Palestinian leaders are considering their next move in their bid for United Nations membership after a U.N. committee said the Security Council is deadlocked on the issue.

Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour said Friday that his government will "quickly" decide on the next step. He added that Palestinian authorities are determined to succeed in the membership bid and that he believes they will succeed.

Mansour commented on Friday, shortly after the Security Council's admissions committee approved a report saying there is no consensus among the 15 council members on the Palestinian membership application.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is meeting with Arab League representatives next week to discuss options.

The Palestinians have several options. They can ask a U.N. Security Council member state to call for a vote in the council.  However, if they win the votes required for approval, the U.S. says it will veto the move.

The Palestinians can also petition the U.N. General Assembly to upgrade their status, which would expand their ability to participate in U.N. activities.  

The Palestinians launched their U.N. membership bid in September hoping that inclusion in the world body would boost their efforts to gain international recognition as an independent state.  

The move took place more than a year after peace talks with Israel stalled.

Those talks broke down after an Israeli moratorium on West Bank settlement construction expired. The Palestinians oppose building on land they want as part of a future state.

The U.S. and several other member states have urged the two sides to return to talks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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