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'Palestine' casts first UN General Assembly vote

By Peter James Spielmann

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Nov. 18 2013 3:43 p.m. MST

Palestine's U.N. delegation has cast its first routine General Assembly ballot to a warm round of applause, which its ambassador calls a symbolic step toward full membership in the world body.

Frank Franklin II, Associated Press

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UNITED NATIONS — Palestine's U.N. delegation has cast its first routine General Assembly ballot to a warm round of applause, which its ambassador calls a symbolic step toward full membership in the world body.

U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour was part of the assembly's election of a judge for the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on Monday. Koffi Kumelio Afande of Togo was elected to the court.

It was the first time that a Palestinian "state" voted in the General Assembly, almost a year after the 193-nation body elevated it to non-member U.N. observer state, the same status the Vatican holds.

The Palestinians now have access to U.N. agencies and international bodies, including the International Criminal Court.

Full U.N. membership requires Security Council approval, with no vetoes.

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