Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN General Assembly today, as President Abbas presented an application for UN membership for a Palestine state.
The UN Security Council has scheduled a meeting on the application for Monday, and the U.S. has said it will exercise its veto power if it comes up for a vote. Approval would require nine "yes" votes from the 15-member council, plus no veto by a permanent member - the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France. If the resolution were to get fewer than nine votes, it would be defeated without the U.S. having to use its veto.
President Abbas could also decide to take the application for recognition to the General Assembly. The UN would have the option of accepting Palestine as a member state, or of upgrading their observer status from "entity" to "state."
President Obama met separately with President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu while he was in New York. In his address to the General Assembly the President encouraged the two sides to work together for peace, saying the process is one "to which America is committed...There are no shortcuts. And that is what the United Nations should be focused on in the weeks and months to come."
Diplomats from the U.S., Australia and European nations were among those who walked out of the General Assembly on Thursday over objections to the content of the speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
According to the Associated Press the Iranian leader said the United States and major West European nations were "arrogant powers ruled by greed and eager for military adventurism", and later accused the U.S. of threatening to place sanctions on anyone who questions the Holocaust and the Sept. 11 attacks.