Abbas had promised to drop a bombshell during his speech at the UN
Palestine deserves full membership and recognition as a state at the UN, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
Abbas delivered his address ahead of a ceremony to raise the Palestinian flag at the world body for the first time, alongside those of the UN's 193 member states.
"Palestine, which is an observer state in the United Nations, deserves full recognition and full membership," he said.
Abbas appealed to "those countries that have not yet recognised the state of Palestine yet, to do so".
The General Assembly voted 10 September to allow the flags of Palestine and the Vatican - both have observer status - to be raised at the UN.
The resolution was backed by 119 countries, with 45 abstentions and eight votes against, including Australia, Israel and the US.