Chris McGreal, in New York:
International efforts to forestall a showdown in the UN security council over the declaration of a Palestinian state are solidifying around a plan for the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to submit a request for recognition but for a vote on the issue to be put on hold while a new round of peace talks is launched.
The deal is being pushed by the Middle East "Quartet" of the UN, EU, US and Russia, which is attempting to persuade Abbas to back away from a diplomatic confrontation with Washington, which says it will veto the Palestinian bid.
The US president Barack Obama is expected to meet the Palestinian leader at the UN on Wednesday as Abbas comes under intense pressure from the US and Europe to compromise.
Diplomats said the proposed compromise would see Abbas submit his letter to the security council, which would then defer action.