Moscow will 'certainly' back Palestinian UN bid: minister
Russia will "certainly" support the Palestinian's bid to be recognised as a state by the United Nations, deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogfanov declared Tuesday.
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas "has told us that the Palestinians intend to go to the (UN) Security Council," seeking recognition of the state of Palestine, Bogdanov told Russian journalists in New York.
"According to what we understand, that will take place on September 23," the deputy minister added in comments reported by the Interfax news agency.
Asked whether Russia will support the Palestinian bid, Bogdanov replied "Of course, certainly."
The Palestinians need to secure nine votes at the Security Council and avoid a veto if they want their membership bid to pass.
While Washington has pledged to veto the move, it is hoping to avoid such an eventuality, looking instead to sway the other 14 council members to vote against or abstain, thereby ensuring the request fails.
The US and Russia are among the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council.
Russia's ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin first announced last week that Russia would support the bid for Palestinian statehood.
The United States has avoided direct criticism of Moscow's stance, but stressed the hope that Russia would "keep working with the diplomatic Quartet on bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to talks."
The quartet refers to the US, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.
© 2011 AFP