Russia to support palestinian un bid

Russia to support Palestinian UN bid

Russia's ambassador to UN says Moscow 'will vote for any of the Palestinians' proposals' next week

Russia's ambassador to the UN said Monday that his nation will support the Palestinian bid for UN membership, but noted that Moscow is not pressuring the Palestinians to submit the request.
"We will, of course, be voting for any of the Palestinians' proposals," Vitaly Churkin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"But I must say that we are not pushing them into it. We are saying that 'Whatever you decide to do, we will support you,'" Churkin said.

The Palestinian leadership is set to request the United Nations to grant them membership and statehood recognition on September 20, but has yet to announce whether it will go through the Security Council or General Assembly.

Churkin said that Russia's message to the Palestinians was that it is "up to you to decide what you want to do at the United Nations".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to make a speech on Friday, in which he is to address the Palestinian delegation's visit to the United Nations next week, Palestinian news agency Maan reported on Monday.

In his speech, Abbas is expected to comment on the European Union and the United States' demand that the Palestinian leadership withdraw their statehood bid, or alternatively soften their demands.

Concerns are growing within Israel and the West that the Palestinian bid might undermine Israel's status in the world.

"The Palestinian move might lessen Israel's standing in the world, and deepen the isolation Israel suffers, especially in Europe," a western diplomat close to issue said.