RAMALLAH - Arab foreign ministers have backed Palestinian plans to seek an upgrade to their status at the United Nations to that of a non-member state, Palestinian officials said.But no decision was taken on when the application would be made, with the Arab League postponing such a decision until its next meeting in Cairo on September 5, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP late on Sunday.The UN membership question was one of several issues raised at a meeting in Qatar of the Arab League’s Follow Up Committee on the peace process on Sunday night, which was also attended by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. “The Arabs decided to go to the UN to seek non-member state status for Palestine,” Erakat told AFP by phone from Doha late on Sunday.“It has been agreed that we will start preparing the legal, procedural and political file relating to the Palestinian application for non-state membership,” he said. He said ministers had approved plans to begin consultations with UN groupings such as the European Union, the African Group, the Non-Aligned Movement and the South American bloc “in order to obtain their support for the Palestinian demand.”A statement from the Follow Up Committee said it supported Abbas’s plan and the diplomatic efforts to obtain non-state membership for Palestine.Last year, Abbas formally presented a Palestinian request for full state membership at the UN in a move which angered Israel and the United States which say a state can only arise out of a negotiated peace settlement.Arab officials meeting in Doha also have approved an international probe into Yasser Arafat’s death, after a report said he may have been poisoned, senior Palestinian official Saeb Erakat said. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas “proposed forming an international investigative commission... on the martyrdom of (former) president Arafat” at a meeting of the Arab League’s Peace Initiative Committee in Doha on Sunday night, he said. The committee has approved the proposal and Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi will follow up on this matter and “create a complete criminal, political and legal file.”Earlier this month an investigation by the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news channel found elevated levels of the radioactive substance polonium on some of Arafat’s belongings, reviving suspicions that the veteran leader may have been poisoned.“We want the commission to be of high credibility,” said Erakat, adding that it might need a “resolution from the UN Security Council.”The Institute for Radiation Physics in Switzerland, which analysed biological samples taken from Arafat’s personal effects, found “an abnormal quantity” of polonium on his effects, Al-Jazeera said.Abbas and Arafat’s widow, Suha, have reportedly already given their consent for samples to be taken from his remains, which are buried in a mausoleum in the West Bank city of Ramallah.Last week, Suha Arafat’s lawyer said that she will launch legal action in France over the claims.Arafat’s nephew Nasser al-Qidwa has accused Israel of poisoning the veteran leader and called for those responsible to be held accountable.Polonium is a highly toxic substance which is rarely found outside military and scientific circles, and was used to kill former Russian spy turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 shortly after drinking tea laced with the poison.