Russia is slated to support Palestine in its bid for recognition as a member state at the United Nations, according to one Palestinian official.
Our plan to go to the United Nations will get support from Russia, Nabil Shaath told the Associated Press.
Shaath was part of a Palestinian delegation that met with officials from Russia's Foreign Ministry today. He did not specify whether Russia would vote for Palestinian statehood or offer some indirect support.
Palestine is currently recognized by 112 member states of the United Nations and needs only 18 more to obtain the two-thirds majority necessary for official recognition as a state at the UN General Assembly this September. Russia's support would represent major leverage in favor of Palestine's race for recognition.
Although US President Barack Obama's Middle East initiative favors the recognition of 1967 borders, the US has already pledged that it will support Israel, and may potentially veto a resolution in favor of Palestinian statehood. In addition to the two-thirds majority of member states, Palestine must garner the support of nine members of the UN Security Council.
Both Russia and the United States are permanent members of the Council.
Other members of the Council expected to vote in favor of Palestinian statehood are Lebanon and Nigeria.
Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, indicated in an interview with Al Jazeera, that Palestine would explore other options, should the United States decline to support its bid for recognition.