Council takes first step on Palestinian UN bid

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council is taking its first step to consider the Palestinian request for U.N. membership.

The council will meet behind closed doors Monday afternoon for an initial discussion of the application submitted Friday by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to become the 194th member of the United Nations.

Israel and the United States oppose the move and consider it a step back for long-stalled peace talks, and the U.S. has said it will veto a resolution recommending membership.

Nonetheless, the council is moving ahead and will hold a formal meeting Wednesday to transmit the bid to a committee on admission of new members, which includes all 15 council nations, diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because consultations have been private.