UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A UN Security Council panel on admitting new members to the United Nations met on Friday for the first time on the Palestinian bid to join the world body as Palestinians lobbied council members for support. After the closed-door meeting of the councils standing committee on admitting new members, which comprises all 15 council members, Lebanese UN Ambassador Nawaf Salam said the committee unanimously agreed to continue meeting at the expert level next week. It was the beginning of an assessment process that will pit the aid-dependent Palestinians against the United States and Israel, both of which vehemently oppose the membership bid, in trying to secure the support of undecided council members. Salam has been the president of the Security Council this month. Nigerian Ambassador Joy Ogwu takes over the chair on Saturday for the month of October, which means she will be overseeing the standing committees work. Western diplomats on the council say the Palestinian UN bid is doomed to failure due to US opposition. But the chief Palestinian delegate at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, reiterated his hope that the application would not sit too long in the committee but would be swiftly approved by the panel. They will start dealing with the details of things related to our application, Mansour told reporters after the council meeting. We hope that the experts will deal with this part of the exercise in a short period of time. Some diplomats have suggested that the issue could stay in the committee for weeks or months before it is passed back to the Security Council for a vote. But the Palestinians have said they want the entire process over within weeks. Several diplomats said the committee on membership unlike the full council makes recommendations on the basis of a simple majority vote and no countries have a veto.