Barack Obama ‘will veto’ Palestinian UN bid
Barack Obama has told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas he will veto his bid for UN membership, as he tried to persuade him to drop the plans.
But Mahmoud Abbas vowed to press ahead during a meeting with the US president, the White House said afterwards.
Mr Obama had told the UN General Assembly a Palestinian state could only be achieved through talks with Israel.
But French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned a veto could spark another cycle of violence in the region.
Diplomatic efforts for Palestinian UN membership have intensified, with Mr Abbas preparing to submit a written application to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Friday.
Meanwhile, thousands of people have rallied in the West Bank in support of the move.
If Mr Ban approves the request, the Security Council would examine and vote on it. In order to pass, it would need the backing of nine out of 15 council members, with no vetoes from the permanent members.