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UNITED NATIONS, September 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will vote in the United Nations in favor of the recognition of Palestinian independence, but would prefer consensus on the issue which can be achieved if President Mahmoud Abbas applies for observer status rather than for full UN membership, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“We would prefer the issue to be decided by consensus,” he said on Thursday commenting on disagreements among UN Security Council members regarding Palestinian plans.
“There are different proposals, in particular, for Palestinians to ask the General Assembly not for membership, but for an observer status,” the minister said.
Naturally, “we cannot impose that or another decision on them,” Lavrov stressed.
He believes Palestine decided to apply for UN membership in order to urge the resumption of the Middle East negotiations.
“A negotiating process should develop constructively without any artificial deadlines. Unfortunately, the (Middle East) negotiating process is in a deadlock,” Lavrov said.
He does not believe the Palestinians want to undermine the negotiating process by applying for full membership in the UN. “It is important for them to dramatize the situation (with the deadlock in negotiations),” he said.
Lavrov met the Middle East Quarter of mediators and said “we proceed from the fact that the decision should be adopted in compliance with legal norms. The Palestinians have a full right to ask the UN Security Council to consider their application for membership in the United Nations. I believe the Palestinians have contemplated further developments.”
Lavrov refused to speculate how the vote will process, but recalled that Russia has long recognized the Palestinian state and will vote in the UN for the recognition of Palestinian independence.