General Assembly president: Security Council recommendation needed for Palestinian U.N. membership


(JTA) — The U.N. General Assembly cannot grant the Palestinians membership without a recommendation from the Security Council, the assembly’s president said.

The Security Council must recommend new U.N. members, without a veto from any permanent member, General Assembly President Joseph Deiss told a news conference May 27 at United Nations headquarters in New York.

"The General Assembly cannot take the initiative, but we are ready to do our work as soon as a recommendation of the Security Council would be addressed,” he said.

The United States, Britain, France, China and Russia are permanent members of the Security Council with veto powers. President Obama has indicated that the U.S. would veto a resolution on Palestinian statehood, calling instead for the establishment of a Palestinian state through direct negotiations with Israel.

“It must be recalled that General Assembly resolution 181 of 1947 already provides for the creation of two states, one Arab, one Jewish, at the end of the British Mandate in Palestine,” Deiss added.

The Arab League over the weekend said in a statement that it "supports the appeal to the U.N. asking that Palestine, within the 1967 borders, becomes a full-fledged state."

The Arab League’s Ministerial Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative also blamed Israel for the failure of the peace process.

So far, 112 nations reportedly have recognized an independent state of Palestine, including a number of Latin American and European countries.

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