Abbas Will Ask for Recognition

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to ask for recognition of Palestine as a state at the United Nations, but a vote will be postponed to allow for a new round of peace talks. Sources tell the Guardian that Abbas withdrew his request for an immediate vote because he was no longer sure he would win a majority on the council, which would have given him a moral victory even if the U.S. decided to veto. Palestinian officials say the U.S. bullied other members into withdrawing support. Still, diplomatic sources say Abbas scored a victory in gaining U.N. attention and breaking the U.S. hold on peace talks. The Palestinian president is expected to hand in his request shortly before making his case to the General Assembly. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to speak immediately afterward.