MADRID (AP) — Spain’s foreign minister says Spain will vote in favor of recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly this week.

Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo told parliament Wednesday that Spain would support the Palestinian bid at the UN because it feels it is the best way to advance toward peace.

France on Tuesday became the first major European country to come out in favor of UN recognition, a move seen as a setback for Israel.

The assembly is expected to vote Thursday on a resolution raising their status at the United Nations from an observer to a nonmember observer state, a move they believe is an important step toward a two-state solution with Israel.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.