CAIRO (AFP) - Arab foreign ministers agreed in a meeting attended by Palestinian chief Mahmud Abbas on Monday to marshal support for a Palestinian bid for UN membership this month despite Israeli and US opposition. President Abbas, who backed out of US-sponsored negotiations with Israel because of its settlement construction in occupied Palestinian lands, is expected to make the request when the UN General Assembly opens on September 20. Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said in a press conference after the meeting that consultations and communications will continue in order to reach the goal of Palestinian UN membership. Before the meeting, Abbas had meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Cairo, where Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a fervent supporter of the Palestinian cause arrived Monday night to begin an Arab Spring tour. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Arab foreign ministers Tuesday that recognition of a Palestinian state was an obligation, as the Palestinians prepare to submit a bid for UN membership. Recognising the Palestinian state is not an option, it is an obligation, Erdogan said at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo. Before the end of this year, we will see Palestine at the United Nations in a very different situation, he said. We must work hand in hand with our Palestinian brothers. The Palestinian cause is the cause of human dignity, added Erdogan, who has become an increasingly strident critic of Turkeys longtime ally Israel. The Palestinians are preparing to submit a formal request to become the 194th member of the United Nations when the General Assembly begins its meetings on September 20, despite US and Israeli opposition. Late on Monday, Arab foreign ministers agreed to marshal support for the Palestinian bid. Ashton attended part of the meeting, to inform the ministers of the Arab Leagues Follow Up Committee on the Middle East peace process of the EUs position on the Palestinian bid.