In order to pass, the request will have to win the support of the Security Council, where it need at least nine votes of its 15 members, but the United States, one of the body's five permanent members, has vowed to veto the move.
The United States and the European Union have pressed the Palestinians not to submit the request to the Security Council and risk a head-on collision with Israel.
Abbas was expected to give "some time to the Security Council to consider first our full membership request before heading to the General Assembly," Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath told reporters on Wednesday.
If the vote fails to pass the Security Council, the Palestinians could then apply to the General Assembly to grant them status as a non-member observer state.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday said they should be granted this status -- the same as accorded to the Vatican -- temporarily, while the request for full statehood is resolved.
Here is how the 15 members of the Security Council are currently expected to vote, based on public statements released so far. Read more
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