India backs Palestinian bid for UN membership

United Nations: As a special UN committee began reviewing the Palestinians` application seeking full membership of the world body, India has said that their bid for statehood should be recommended to the General Assembly.

"Palestine`s application for membership to the UN is not incompatible with, nor does it exclude, direct negotiations between the parties to resolve the final status issues," India`s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said here yesterday while attending a meeting of the UN Security Council`s Committee on Admission of New States.

He said the committee should report to the UNSC that the Palestinian bid for statehood should be recommended to the General Assembly in accordance with the relevant provisions of the UN Charter, Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council and Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly.

Puri recalled that India granted recognition to the Palestinian statehood in 1988 and was the first non-Arab state to do so.

The committee that deals with admission of new members began yesterday the review of the Palestinian application, submitted by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last week. The committee had met at a closed-door session for the first time to consider the request for statehood.

Experts would review technical aspects related to the bid, including whether the application meets UN charter specifications, and are expected to report back to the Security Council next week.

Palestine currently has observer status at the UN.

While the committee needs eight of the 15 votes on the Security Council and no veto, the request needs nine votes at the UNSC for being approved.

The US has already made it clear that it will veto the Palestinian request.