France to vote on Palestinian state on November 28
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France to vote on Palestinian state on November 28

Draft urges government to use recognition as ‘instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict’

The Congress of Deputies of Spain in session. (public domain, Wikimedia Commons)
The Congress of Deputies of Spain in session. (public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

French lawmakers will vote on November 28 on a proposal by the Socialist Party urging the government to recognize Palestine as a state, a parliamentary source said Wednesday.

The nonbinding but highly symbolic vote would follow a similar vote in the British parliament and Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine.

A draft of the proposal states that the lower house National Assembly “invites the French government to use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict.”

France will “obviously at a certain moment recognize the Palestinian state,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told AFP on Saturday.

“The question is when and how? Because this recognition must be useful for efforts to break the deadlock and contribute to a final resolution of the conflict,” added Fabius.

There was no immediate response from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, arrives at the Elysee palace to attend a meeting on October 13, 2014, in Paris. (photo credit: AFP/THOMAS SAMSON)
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, arrives at the Elysee palace to attend a meeting on October 13, 2014, in Paris. (photo credit: AFP/THOMAS SAMSON)

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favor of a non-binding motion to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”

Sweden announced on October 30 it officially recognized the state of Palestine, a move criticized by Israel and the United States.

The Palestinian Authority estimates that 134 countries have now recognized Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union member states date back to the Soviet era.

On Saturday, Europe’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called for a Palestinian state sharing Jerusalem as its capital with Israel.

Swedish and French officials said that the moves to recognize a Palestinian state were meant to jumpstart peace talks, which collapsed spectacularly in late April after a nine-month, US-brokered effort.

The Palestinians have already asked the UN Security Council to set a deadline of November 2016 for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and have been courting the support of Security Council members, but as of mid-October, they still had not wooed a majority of the members.

A draft resolution circulated to council members and obtained by The Associated Press also called for “a just resolution” of the status of Jerusalem as the capital of two states, and of the Palestinian refugee problem; an end to all Israeli military operations and settlement activities; the opening of all border crossings in the Gaza Strip; and deployment of “an international presence” throughout the Palestinian territories to protect Palestinian civilians.

Abbas warned that the PA would reevaluate its security coordination with Israel in the West Bank if its statehood bid to the UN Security Council was rejected, and added that the Palestinians would file for membership to the ICC if the resolution failed to pass, according to Arabic media.

Currently, only seven Security Council members would likely vote for the resolution, according to Palestinian Liberation Organization officials. However, if the Palestinians round up a majority to support their bid, it would force the US to exercise its veto power in order to thwart the resolution.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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