Thousands of Palestinians gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday to welcome Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on his return from New York, where he submitted an application for full Palestinian membership at the United Nations on Friday.

Waving Palestinian flags, they gathered at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah, where Abbas arrived by car, after landing in the Jordanian capital Amman late Saturday.

Abbas was expected to give a speech later on Sunday, and then convene his top ministers and advisers to discuss the Mideast Quartet's proposal for renewing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

On Friday, Abbas delivered his speech before the UN General Assembly in which he called on the UN to recognize Palestinian statehood. Palestinians in Ramallah and Nablus cheered and took to the streets following Abbas' speech.

The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to begin discussing the Palestinian application for full member status on Sunday. The session is expected to focus on technical matters, such as the formation of a subcommittee of the Security Council to discuss the request, and the schedule for that panel to submit its report and recommendations.