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UN Panel Considers Palestinian Membership Bid

A boy waves a Palestinian flag during a rally outside the U.N. office in Amman (File)
A boy waves a Palestinian flag during a rally outside the U.N. office in Amman (File)

A United Nations Security Council committee is meeting on Friday to consider a Palestinian bid for U.N. membership.

The Security Council referred the request to the special committee last week.

The Palestinians hope the U.N. process will gain them statehood. But the move is opposed by the Obama Administration and Israel. The United States has promised to veto the bid if it comes before the full Security Council for a vote.

Washington and others have been urging Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks, which broke down last year.

On Sunday, the Quartet of Mideast peace negotiators meets in Brussels to discuss how to revive negotiations. The group is comprised of the U.S., the European Union, U.N. representatives and Russia.

Palestinian officials say talks cannot go forward unless Israel agrees to stop building new settlements. The Palestinians oppose building on land they want as part of a future state.

On Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged European nations to back his statehood bid.

In a speech in Strasbourg, he told the Council of Europe that Palestinians are seeking freedom from Israeli "occupation" and deserve the same support that EU nations have given pro-democracy demonstrators in other parts of the Middle East.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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