Mahmoud Abbas presented the Palestinian request for statehood to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday afternoon. Within hours, it was transmitted to the Security Council for a decision.
In diplomatic circles, there has been talk of little else for months. But the question on everyone’s lips is – what happens now, and when?
The normally-sedate UN General Assembly in New York gave Abbas a warm welcome as he took the stand.
In his speech, the Palestinian President reiterated his call for recognition of a state with pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital. As Abbas finished talking, delegates clapped and some rose to their feet.
Behind the scenes, diplomats and officials were already hard at work on the next steps to take.
“I received a while ago from the Secretary General a letter transmitting to me the application of Palestine for membership in the UN. I circulated the letter to all members of the Security Council, and I call for consultation in light of this letter on Monday at three in the afternoon.” said Nawaf Salam, the President of the UN Security Council.
In order to pass, the request would need the backing of nine of the 15 Security Council members, with no vetoes from the permanent representatives.
Officials say it could take weeks for the vote to happen.